Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Writing Tense

Determining what writing tense to use when writing your book can be tricky. There is no one set rule for the tense you are supposed to write in. What I have learned is that the present tense is one of the most difficult. I spent some time researching this, going back to the books that I have liked or thought were well written. For the genre of my current book, fantasy fiction, I will be using the past tense.

The past tense allows me to tell the story without everything seeming to be important. However, there is a problem. I am terrible at writing in only one tense. This comes from my lack of discipline and experience. It took me a long time to write the first chapter of my book. I was continually questioning my tense and how I worded a sentence. I thought about the flow of the sentences and the story. Then I realized something. This is something that I am supposed to do later.

I need to write. Get the story out and onto the screen. Write the chapters and let it flow. After finishing the first draft, I will go back and edit the tense, ensure proper grammar, and look at the flow. Then I will have a couple people proof read it, hire a professional proofer and then I will be much better. Would it be easier if I wrote everything in the correct tense the first time? Absolutely. But that is not how my brain operates.

My advice to anyone who is looking to write is, play to your strengths. Let others help you and hire what you need. If you are a grammar person, then you can do that yourself. But if you are like me, you tell stories, you like details and fighting scenes. The writing is the inspiration. Yes, you want your book to be perfect, well written and professional. Just remember that you do not have to do this alone.

Write. Be open to criticism. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

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