I’ve figured it out



Yes, I’ve figured out why I cannot stand present tense in a novel. It reminds me of writing screenplays and watching television.

Let me explain.

Some time ago, I decided to try writing a screenplay. What I found, was that screenwriting is a very different animal from novel writing. Screenplays are all written in present tense. Which means everything is happening right now. Not yesterday, not last year, not even five minutes ago. You’re sitting on the characters shoulder watching things unfold with them. It’s like sitting in front of a television screen.

There is only one problem with that for me. I don’t care for television.

Some people might think that’s weird, but I would rather curl up with a good book. My husband is the same way. The TV is rarely on at our house. We don’t even have cable.

Where am I going with this post?

When you are writing, think about how you want your story written.

  • Does present tense work better then past?
  • Does a first person narrative sound better, or is it too constrictive making third person the obvious route?

These things might seem minor, but they can make a big impact to your work.

Try altering a page or two of your favorite story and see the difference it makes.


About Stacy Bender

Author of Ursa Kane and the Sav'ine series.
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