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  1. green beam
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    green beam New Member

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    I don't think i know what i'm doing!!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by green beam, Dec 31, 2006.

    It wasn't till recently that i started getting serious about writting. I have written a lot in the past, but it was just out of boredom. Now i'm actually wanting to write something good..

    But I think i'm kind of lost, First off I'm writting in First person Present tense. Or at least i think i am.
    I was confident that I was doing well, but then I got kind of stuck along the way.

    there is a piece of my story that i kind of turned into a past tense part. Or at least it seems to be in past tense. I really don't know.


    Here why don't i just show it to yea


    See the last little paragraph changed into past tense right?
    Or am i just so crazy?
    I mean is that okay? It was just kind of bothering me because I'm not a big writter and i don't have much (or any) experience at all.


    And then someone told me this


    So i think i'm just totally lost about it all..

    So can anyone help me on that?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    writing in first/present is a big mistake, imo... first of all, it doesn't engage the reader, because it's all 'i-i-i' and 'me-me-me'...

    secondly, the only things you can write about in your story are what the narrator [you] can see/hear, which is very limiting plot-wise...

    present tense is not only hard to maintain for even the most seasoned of exceptional writers, but really makes no sense, since it's not someone telling you a story as it happens, but someone writing it, so how in the bleep can they be writing it down, while they're doing all that stuff?...

    my best advice to you is to save that for your diary... if you have a story to tell, use the most reader-friendly third/past... which is also the easiest for a beginner to get right...
     
  3. Avrilkiller
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    Avrilkiller Member

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    It mgiht word with a very seasoned and skilled writer, but it's nearly impossible to wrok without being a complete bore. A good book establishes a connection between reader and writer, and as mamma said, that's all you you you.
    Also, it IS extremely hard to maintain...even in that sample you provided....you switched between present and past tense about 54967493 times, often within the same sentence.
     
  4. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    i agree with both of the others saying that writing in present tense is very hard and often a mistake, but i disagree when mamma said that writing in first person is a mistake and is hard to engage the reader. i recently read Memoirs of a Geisha, which is in first person, and i felt so drawn in by the book it was scary, lol.
    so my advice is to forget about present tense and just stick with past. but do feel free to experiment between first and third, and see which feels more comfertable for you and the story.
    hope this helps any,
    Heather
     
  5. Avrilkiller
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    Avrilkiller Member

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    Heather,

    For the record, I don't think there's ANYthing wrong with first person, It's harder but for the reader just as pleasant and a number of wonderful novels use it.

    I just think the present tense part of it was a baaaad idea, lol.
     
  6. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    ok, i just got that impression.
    i started reading a book the other week and that starts off in present tense and it was really wierd, but it changed to past afterwards :S
    heather
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Green Beam,

    First person present tense, as has been said, is very hard to pull off in a novel. It is difficult enough in a short story.

    If you are still very determined to write your novel in first person, present tense, consider reading a few good novels using that POV and tense. Don't just read them for enjoyment, but also take note of how the author avoided some of the pitfalls mentioned above and how you could apply some of the techniques and combine them with your your own style and voice.

    One very well written first person present tense novel is Carry Me Home, by Sandra Kring. You should be able to get a copy at your local library, or at a bookstore/online.

    Terry
     
  8. scumlander
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    scumlander Member

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    Everything is optional. third person past, first person present, second person present! its all completely do-able (although i wouldnt touch second person with a barge pole.) It's just the way you handle it. right now i suggest you get your writing skills up, do some learnings and things, keep writing, re-read your own stuff and correct where possible. and if you like what you have written, put it on here so then we can show you how to improve it further.

    I disagree with mammamaia
    that sounds quite ridiculous. who cares that it's written. almost no-one cares about the fact that its been written down.

    Now first person present is one of the hardest ways to do things but once mastered, can produce far better results, far easier and quicker than most other forms.

    In conclusion to this little rambling drift into my spewing of opinion, i suggest you stay away from present tense for a while. which person it is in is up to you
     
  9. green beam
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    green beam New Member

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    *Gah sorry it took me so long in replying.
    I thank you all for the adivce and i'm now re-writting it in past tense
    Still in first person because i feel i'm better at it then in third
    XD
     
  10. Ennubi
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    Ennubi Member

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    you have my sympathies, green beam. i've spent forever working 3rd person and ending up with bunch of unengaging ninnies for lead characters.

    glad to hear you ditched present. i've seen it done on a few artsy webpages, but i personally find it like nails on a chalkboard.

    first person actually clicked- the catch is making sure 'i' is an interesting character people can relate to. i'm not of the mind a lot of people like personal journals, but that might just be me. i find it's fun for minor characters- nothing like kids thinking back all the sass they want to give to their parents. also good for murderers, villians, and tormented, angsty adults :).

    3rd person kicked my butt cause i could never figure out how far to zoom the camera in or out. 1st, you actually get to be the blasted camera.

    ennubi
     

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