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  1. #1
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    third person/present tense

    I copied my first draft of my YA novel into a new file (originally written in first person with switches to third person - all in present tense). In the second file, I changed the entire thing to third person. However, I left it in present tense - should I now change it to past tense?

    I did a search at WN on this topic - but have yet to find the answer I'm looking for. How do you all feel about third person/present tense?

    Heading to Chapters tomorrow for a little research into what's out there, but I thought I'd try a little feedback here too.

    Patti



  2. #2
    Terri
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    I was told present is better...but whatever works for your story

  3. #3
    Comma Boy
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    I'm not sure I've ever seen third person in present tense. Hard for me to picture. But if it enhances your story, go for it. Personally I can't write in present tense.


    CB

  4. #4
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    Originally this was first person:

    I scan the leaves of the forest floor looking for a sign of my baby brother, seeing nothing that resembles his tiny form.

    Now changed to third:

    She scans the leaves of the forest floor looking for a sign of her baby brother, seeing nothing that resembles his tiny form.

    Should I change to:

    She scanned the leaves of the forest floor looking for a sign of her baby brother, seeing nothing that resembles his tiny form.

    I'm so tired tonight, I can't even think straight. Maybe I should take a fresh look in the morning.

  5. #5
    Terri
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    I would add a but in there, pull out the [i]a and seeing<i/> and make it saw and resembled

    She scanned the leaves of the forest floor looking for signs of her baby brother but saw nothing that resembled his tiny form.


    :-)
    (gotta go sneeze now)

  6. #6
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    Thanks!

    And that last example should have read "resembled", not resembles.

    Should go to bed ...

    IT IS NOW SAFE TO TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER

  7. #7
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    Found a link here at WN to Advice on Novel Writing by Crawford Kilian.

    Most readers of genre fiction don't enjoy the present tense, so editors are often reluctant to let their authors use it.

    Appreciate the help. Once again, I did eventually find my answer through WN!

    Patti

  8. #8
    Terri
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    ahh..I thought it sounded wrong when I said it. lol
    I should crash too...my writing is stagnnt....damn rewrites!..so my mind just isn't in it today.

    Night PNW

  9. #9
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    Terri - not YOUR last example - MY last example.

    I'm the one who should go to bed!

    Thanks again, Patti

  10. #10
    patti new-writer
    Guest

    Re: third person/present tense

    Or maybe you meant when you said "when I said it", meaning when you read mine, not when you wrote yours ...

    HA! Figure that one out!

    PATTI - GO - TO - BED!

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