Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. To heck with suspense. Have them puzzle through the meaning of events when they have opportunity—and give them that opportunity.
But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". It meant I wanted to make a movie. Often I use present tense for the past, to make it more immediate, and past for the present. Perhaps my thinking is skewed by my need to keep everything rolling and rolling quickly.
However, with past tense, you have access to all twelve verb tenses English contains. The imagination is never confined and since writing is its vehicle it should be allowed to put anything on the line in the wind… Robert J Gordon November 14, at 2: The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange.
Since time past and time future are both together…. That's all totally fine past tense. Jonathan Franzen 1 The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. This is love in the present tense. Claire took a deep breath, she was dreading what John was about to say. In short, love playing with tense. This can be setting description or character description. The main part of the action should come before the climax.
Write to please just one person. Cut until you can cut no more. A narrator may be aloof and observational or up close in the thick of the action. Of course, she did. It encompasses not only the big-picture, strategic choices such as point of view and choice of narratorbut also tactical choices of grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence and paragraph length and structure, tone, the use of imagery, chapter selection, titles, etc.
John Maki January 29, at 2: Conversely if the piece is a short story with action as the main theme I would automatically chose present tense since as the author I was probably the main character while writing the story.
Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To get the widest range of options in your narrative, use past tense. I put my fists up. Literary fiction is fictional works that hold literary meritthat is to say, they are works that offer social commentaryor political criticismor focus on aspect of the human condition.
I think a lot of writers choose the present tense as a form of cowardice. The bit in particular that confuses me is the 'let out a laugh'. Follow Brian on Twitter: I do not pay particular attention to either one form or another as I seem to get lost in my stories and just let the written wrecking ball swing as it chooses.
I feel a blow at the back of my head…. Discipline is the key. An engaging opening In a fictional narrativethe first paragraph should hook the reader and grab their attention. But even then each story will have its own balance of elements. The components of style are numerous, but include point of view, choice of narrator, fiction-writing mode, person and tense, grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence length and structure, paragraph length and structure, tone, imagery, chapter usage, and title selection.
I don't have any formal writing training and didn't have a good English teacher at school, so apologies if this question is really dumb. I always write in past tense.
Reply Mike Cate September 6, at 9: I now think it should be done only in private, like any other lavatorial activity. To get us started, a basic definition— Narrative modes in fiction are the methods that writers use to tell their stories.If you’re writing a mainstream or genre novel, you’ll probably want to use past tense.
Third person or first person can both work well, but unless you have a main character with a strong or unusual voice, I’d recommend third person.
While the past tense has been the convention, the default for fiction, Mantel continues, it wasn’t the first time she had brought history to life by pulling it into the present time. You’ll also find a fair amount of present tense in literary fiction.
But almost any novel in any genre could be written in present tense. (Romance typically uses past tense.) All that said, I’m not sure what your friend is saying about the style being grammatically incorrect.
Grammar and POV and narrative tense are each different issues. It is easiest to write in past tense, describing events as if they happened a few days, weeks or years ago. Be clear about the distance in time and use the same tense throughout your writing.
The components of style are numerous, but include point of view, choice of narrator, fiction-writing mode, person and tense, grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence length and structure, paragraph length and structure, tone, imagery, chapter usage, and title selection.
Narrator. The narrator is the story teller. The main character in the book can also be the narrator. Writing: Past or Present Tense? By Debbie Young on November 6, in Writing A Book Most fiction writers will at some point ask themselves in which tense they should be framing their stories.Download