How I Used First Person and Present Tense to Wake Up My Story—Guest Blog

First Person Present Tense example
Present Tense: Breathlessly Waiting to Read About What’s Already Happened?

Last month I wrote about why I believe writing in the present tense is problematic for many writers. Today’s guest blog is from talented author C. B. Wentworth, who confidently uses the present tense in her writing. I asked her to share her thoughts on the subject, and she graciously agreed to do so. Be sure to visit her blog at http://cbwentworth.wordpress.com/ for some wonderful posts on a variety of subjects.

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Present Tense: Breathlessly Waiting to Read About What’s Already Happened

Present TenseAs an editor, I’ve made no bones about my preference for past tense in both fiction and memoir writing. And I know I’m not alone. Yet there seems to be a movement toward writing in present tense, and there have been some passionate blogs written about the past versus present debate. In a blog titled “Does (or Did) Tense Matter?” D. Thomas Minton wrote:

“Stories in the present tense feel more urgent and immediate to me—I feel like I’m there with the characters, instead of listening to the story after-the-fact, while sitting in the cozy comfort of a coffee shop.  In contrast, the temporal distance that comes with past tense removes this immediacy, but past tense is more conducive to reflection, as if the narrator has had a chance to digest what has happened to him or her prior to telling me.”

Do you find present tense engaging or off-putting? #writers #authors #writing Click To Tweet

So maybe I prefer the reflective aspect of writing? Or perhaps I’m just an old dog who doesn’t want to learn new tricks—the author of The Singularity Sucks blog suggests it’s an age thing:

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