Tenses. They are my number one weakness. My Darth Vader, if you will. I never really paid attention to them before, and now, I switch them on and off like a light switch. I haven't found the all out answer on how to stay in one tense while writing except. . .practice. I did a little research, which helped some. I am also proud to say, I'm beginning to recognize it in the books I read. Like I said, never really paid attention to it before. I know you are possibly smiling, maybe laughing. "She's a newbie," you shout, but we all start somewhere and I'm sure you have been at this point before.
When I'm writing, I'm usually concentrating on the character, voice, heart, does this chapter relate to the story, you know, all the rules. I never really know what tense is best so I guess my mind just switches back and forth from past to present then back again. Maybe it can't decide. I've been told to write the story then go back and fix tense in line edits. It makes sense, but I would love to know if there are any tricks to fix this as I go along. I tend to write in first person POV. I have written in third person, but I like first person better. It feels natural for me.
Now, I know it's all up to me in the end until an agent or editor gets their hands on it (one day, I hope). I can't help but wonder the best way to approach my little issue.
Let's review the little thorns in my side:
Present tense--I've been told when writing action, this is the best tense. Since I write a lot of action and tend to have quick pacing, this could be the best tense for me.
What's present tense? Here it is in simple form. It's what's happening right now. Example--I run towards the door.
Books with this tense--The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (she's brilliant) and Matched by Ally Condie.
Past Tense- This is the tense you probably see most often and the tense that I tend to switch to.
What's past tense? Well, it happened in the past. Example--I ran towards the door.
Books with this tense--Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
In YA, it seems there is more and more present tense. Neither tense bothers me as long as it's written well. I also read that present tense is a cop out. Not sure of your thoughts on this. I guess in the end it takes lots of practice and what I feel is best for my story.
Here are some links to posts I've found to be helpful.
Kidlit- So Tense about Tense!
Nick Dawes writing Blog
Any secrets on writing tenses (basically staying in one tense while writing)?
Have you written in one tense then switched it to another tense after you wrote the whole thing?
What's your favorite tense to read or write?
Any books you would like to share in the present or past tense?
This may be a silly question. Can something be written in more than one tense?
This post wound up so much longer than I planned. :) I'm sure you may have better examples. If you do, please share.
Have a great weekend!