1. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    Is it possible to write a storyscene in future tense

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by radnommandess, Jan 8, 2013.

    I know this may seem like a stupid question but is it possible to write a story/scene in future tense. I have been working on a series of stories mainly based on a succesion of logical paradoxes and have came to a point where writing a scene or two or possibly even an entire chapter in the future tense would be very beneficial to the overall scheme of where it is going. So is it possible? Has it been done? and can anyone reccomend any books/stories I could read as an example???
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Of course it is possible to do so. The question is, how pleasing would it be to read?

    Just because something is new and done differently does not make it a good thing to do. Many new writers, aspiring to set themselves apart, look to try things just because they are different. I suspect that hurts more than it helps. But writing is very much a trial-and-error process, so my advice is to give it a go. If you think your story would be improved by it, go ahead and write a scene or two in future tense. Then read it aloud and see what you think.
     
  3. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sure it's possible, though I can't think of any examples off the top of my head. I imagine it'd be pretty tricky to get right, but definitely worth a go. Even if it ends up rubbish - and chances are the first time you try anything like that it will - you'll still have stretched yourself as a writer, and that's what we should all be trying to do.

    More importantly, it sounds like you're trying to do it for the right reasons - you're doing it because it fits the story, not just because you're trying to be clever. That makes it far more likely to work well.
     
  4. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    I'm not doing it because it is new and different. I genuinely think that if I can manage to do it in a way that is pleasing to read it would benefit my story. I have tried writing scenes in the future tense as an experiment (purely for the challenge) before and found it difficult. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips or if anyone knew of any examples i could benefit from reading.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it would help if you'd give us an example of how you would do this... just a paragraph will do...
     
  6. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    Read Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. Parts of it are in future tense (and second person). It gets confusing at first, because other parts are, as you'd expect, in past tense, and it takes a while to make sense of it and realize when's when. But I loved figuring it out, and in the end it makes perfect sense. Great story.
     
  7. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    mamma I don't have any examples at the moment as it was a long time ago that i experimented with trying future tense. As it was just a challenge for the fun of it and also I havent written since then upuntil 6 months ago. So I no longer have my experiments. Though I do have a scene in double tense (present and future) that I have almost Ironed out. Not sure if that would help get your head round where I want to aim with future tense, but once I have ironed out the paradoxes and mistakes I'll put it up.
     
  8. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    It is certainly possible, but I think it'd be a major pain in the ass from a reader's perspective. Think of all the verb modifiers you have to use: So-and-so is "about" to do this and "will" do that.

    It reminds me of that stand-up line that Chris Rock said about single mothers who feel like they don't need a father to raise their child... "Yeah, and you could also drive a car with your feet, but that doesn't make it a good ****ing idea!"
     
  9. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    This is my chief concern on the matter. Which is why I am trying to seek advice and or examples of it being done before I try. Though even if I don't get help or examples I am still going to try but as an experiment for my own fun rather than as part of my project.
     
  10. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    cheers muchly to everyone who has chipped in with their tuppence worth:)
     
  11. Jon M
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    Jon M Member

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    Yes, it's possible. I did it. Sold the story, too.

    Have to be aware of what could potentially annoy the reader. Too much reliance on the verb "will" could grate, which is why you have to be creative with sentence structure / story flow.

    Give it a try. Might teach you a few things.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is possible. But just because you can do something, it doesn't nean you should.

    Just write a good story, clearly and engagingly. Leave the stunts to adrenaline junkies with a death wish. Gimmicks will attract notice, but not in a good way.
     
  13. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    What is the name of your story in future tense so I can look out for it. I am already aware of potential overuse of will, from my current experiment in using double tense (present and future). Though i think in future tense only it will require a lot more creativity.
     
  14. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    It's not for a gimmick if I can do this in a way that works I feel it could genuinely improve the story. Afterall the story is mainly based in a series of logical paradoxes. If it fails I won't use it. The main reason for trying is for the challenge and the mental excersice. If it feels to gimmicky then I'll set it aside, but I will still have learned from the challenge.
     
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Yes. I read an excellent unpublished manuscript (but I believe they have an agent) that was written in 2nd person future tense. 'You're going to deliver the package and hear their screams of terror.'

    Everything is possible. It's never the what but the how.

    That's a great reason. I do this sort of thing all the time. It really sharpens my thinking. Other people naysay this kind of path but I think it's rewarding in itself.
     
  16. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    I'm glad other people think like this. The main reason I want to re-learn the proper way of doing things and the rules of how to go about it is so I can break everyone of them. Mainly for my own pleasure and learning experience, but also to add some unorthodoxy to what I write. If it doesn't work I ditch the piece I've still had fun and learned. For me you hit the nail on the head with "It really sharpens my thinking."
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It depends on how far into the future. If I were doing it I would make it far enough to avoid the need for 'about', 'almost', or any other close to immediate modifier. The big challenge is to avoid overuse of the word 'will.'

    A future tense story could be a warning about a child. The parents playing with it, but the narrator knowing what that child is going to do in some post-apocalyptic future setting--good or bad. There are some very interesting possibilities if you get creative enough.

    They laugh as they hold his innocent little hands, hands that are going cut the throats of hundreds; a sharp blade slicing through flesh while he grins. His fingernails will be stained with blood and he uses the tip of the blade to clean them.

    Just a quick silly example.
     
  18. Jon M
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    Jon M Member

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    Story's called Future Perfect. Still waiting for it to be published, probably in the next couple of weeks. Can send you a message when it does.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    where will it be published?... online, or in print?
     
  20. Jon M
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    Jon M Member

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    Online.
     
  21. sylvertech
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    sylvertech Active Member

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    Yes it is possible and I believe it would be interesting.

    Threats, daydreaming, time-travel, predictions, reasoning, and just plain narration would all welcome the twist.

    BEST ADVICE EVER:
    Try it. Once you get comfortable (after a few thousand words),
    have somebody look at it. Adjust accordingly.
     

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