1. Gucci Louis Prada
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    Gucci Louis Prada New Member

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    Changing Tense in Creative Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gucci Louis Prada, May 19, 2014.

    Hi all!
    I am doing a creative writing piece for class, nothing formal
    My writing is in past tense. I was wondering if it is acceptable shift to present tense for the climax. It seams to give it a here-and-now type of urgency that is lost in past tense
    I have done well to transition the change in tense, it certainly does not jar the reader out of the story
    My question is this: Is there some fundamental rule of writing disallowing a change in tense the way I described?

    Thank you for the help
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Anything done well is doable. That sounds really facile, I know, and is an answer I try to steer away from because it always leaves the dangling and unanswered bit of what does done well mean. I can only give examples as proof. In Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World, the initial three core characters are introduced, each in their own chapter, in 3rd person present tense for a paragraph or two which then slides directly into the mind of the character as 1st person past tense for the rest of the story. One would normally be told no, no, that's terrible, don't do that, but as painfully sad as this book is, it is also profoundly beautiful, and "done well".
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no ironclad rule against doing that...

    if the reason for doing so is to show that the pov character has been telling about what happened to him/her in the past and, at the end, reflects on what took place in 'real time,' i can see it making sense to do so...

    it's been done before... whether it works, is up to the quality of your writing...
     
  4. Gucci Louis Prada
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    Gucci Louis Prada New Member

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    Thanks guys, very helpful

    BTW Great forum! I'll surely be back
     

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