1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Does anyone else do this?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alesia, Jun 3, 2013.

    Alot of the time when I'm writing third person past tense, I find it easier to get the general idea down by writing the section in third person present tense, then going back and changing it up to properly fit past tense. Does anyone else do that, or am I the only one?
     
  2. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    I don't, but I can see that being a useful tactic.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I cannot say I have ever done this. I have never been a fan of present tense writing, so it would not be my 'go-to' mode before flipping to something else.
     
  4. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    I personally prefer first or third person past tense as I find it easier to write as though it has already happened. I find present tense to be finicky and I always slip back into past tense. It's all personal choice though.
     
  5. northernadams
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    northernadams Member

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    I prefer third person past tense, but I'm in the process of making my first attempt at first person past tense.
     
  6. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    On the subject of tense, how much is it frowned upon to write in third person, past tense while interjecting little blurbs like this when describing what a character is feeling? This is a character regaining consciousness from a KO by the way.

    "Numbness. Confusion. Headache. Something rough pushing against her side and face... "
     
  7. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I would say it's too much of an intrusion by the author, and it makes the narrator unreliable.. especially when grammatically incorrect, due to poor switches in tense.. and it has to be done in a way that still keeps the reader immersed in the moment.. a writer who does this EXTREMELY well, though I would not suggest attempting it, until you've fully learned how to do it seamlessly while still showing, is Jose Saramago.. you're example is also a pristine version of telling... you're goal is not to tell the reader how to feel, but to show him things and make them feel special, by including him in on the fun... you do that by engaging their imagination, by letting it do the work for you--something I struggle with, for sure, because I tend to overwrite a lot and zap the reader of his ability to be actively involved.. readers like to think, they like to imagine, they like to connect the dots.. and what's the point of connecting the dots for them, or telling them which ones to connect first, then last?
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I do it sometimes by accident, if I'm really into the story. On those occasions I often slip into first person altogether. Usually it only lasts for a couple of sentences before I realise and I correct it, and then continue in the appropriate POV lol. I personally find writing in first person quite helpful just to get into my character's head before writing for real in third person.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that...
     

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