Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WiP Wednesday: Tense Troubles ... & Insignia ARC!

I started the first draft of a new book the other day.
I tried to write it in first person past tense, but just couldn't do it. I kept inadvertently slipping back into present tense, which was so frustrating. Finally, I just gave in and changed the whole thing to present. 

I've been writing in first person present for so long, it's hard to switch!
I could probably switch if I really forced myself to, but this is NaNo. I don't have time to go back and edit all my tense blunders, so I'm heading back to my comfort zone.

How about you?
Which tense do you like best when you write? Are you all over place or do you tend to stick to one? Do you have a preference when you read?

And by the way, S.J. Kincaid is giving her first ARC away on >>her blog<<. You don't want to miss it. Here's a little cover love to get you salivating: 


  1. Third person, past tense. Which I know is incredibly boring, but what can I say, it works for me! Actually, I'm doing so much review writing at the moment that my fiction has been sadly neglected...

  2. Third person, past tense. But...I change to first person, past tense during dreams, hallucinations or when my character shifts into a non human form.

    I like to challenge myself. I'll write books taking place in the future in present tense. I've been writing in past for the last year, so it's a challenge to switch.

  3. I'm all over the place with the first draft with respect to person, pov and tense. Some scenes are immediate and some are from a distance. But by the end of it, I know what is the best voice for the story and revise accordingly.

  4. I don't have a favourite tense, it changes story by story. I'm quite good at staying in the tense I'm supposed to be in, as long as I'm only working on one story at a time, that is :-)

  5. The book I'm reading at the oment keeps switching from past to present, and it's very annoying. As a reader, I'm happy to read in any tense, but not to switch. It fragments the story too much for me.
    Good luck with NaNo! I don't know where you get the time!

  6. I've very tense when I write.
    Anxious Adverb

  7. I'm a recent present tense convert myself. And always always always first person. I've written a short story in pretty much every combo possible just to test them out, and first person, present tense flows the best for me.

    Good luck with NaNo, Superwoman! ;)

  8. HA! I hadn't even read this before e-mailing you about my tense problems. Yes, I think in present tense. Tried to rework my most recent novel in past, but I just can't seem to get my mind around it. I have a problem when people are TALKING in present (in quotes), but then the events are happening in the past...then getting into PAST PERFECT for memories is enough to drive me batty!

  9. I guess it depends on the piece I tend to write consistently in past tense, but change the POVs... It depends if I can be the character or if I'm just observing the story happening.

  10. I've almost always written in past so it makes it hard for me to pull off present tense (except when I blog). Do you owe me a WIP soon? Ahem.

  11. Ooh, that covers looks so cool. I'm hopping over there to take a look pronto.

    I'm not doing NaNo officially this year - vacay over Thanksgiving is a natural pause. I'm shooting for 30K on my existing WIP, tho. And I agree w/ you on those tense issues. What's natural is always best on a first draft.

  12. For over a decade I only wrote in past tense, but in the past few years I've done present tense and now it's hard to switch back.