1. Lovelina
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    Lovelina Member

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    Past Tense

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lovelina, Jun 13, 2012.

    I read somewhere on the Internet (I think it's a reliable and credible source) that, unless you are a seasoned and renowned writer, if you write in third person limited and want to be published, you have to stick to the past tense. How accurate is this claim?
     
  2. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    It's a very fair advice to the new writers. Present tense writing certainly requires lot more skills. It can attract a lot more attention than the story itself, which is not good. The trick is to make the readers aware of the present tense yet not attract unduly attention to itself... if this is making any sense. So, yes, stick to past tense if you don't have that skill.
     
  3. shaylyn
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    shaylyn Member

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    The Hunger Games books are a really good example of present tense done right.
     
  4. growingpains
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    growingpains Member

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    As already stated, it really depends on your level of skill and how well you pay attention to your writing as you go. It's easy to find yourself trying to write in present tense only to switch back to past tense at some point - and then switch again. Not only is this a huge no-no just in general, but it will make it a pain when it comes time to editing. If you'd like to practice writing in present tense then it's best not to start that practice in your novel or anything you plan to get published.

    Personally, I really enjoy writing in present tense but I've been writing for 10+ years and have took the time to sit down and write short stories that I had never planned on publishing in order to practice present tense writing.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the vast majority of readers prefer past tense, too... so it only makes sense to maximize your chances of being published instead of minimizing 'em...
     

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