Thursday, December 07, 2006

Present Tense

I almost gave up on the book I read yesterday.

Not because it was a bad book. For the most part the story was very interesting (though by the middle of it I found myself skimming the large sections of history and back story that cropped up every other break and interrupted the action.) Over all, I was intrigued by the premise and interested in the characters. No, the problem, my problem, was that the book was written in present tense and I kept being thrown by that.

I’m sure I haven’t always had issues with present tense. In fact, my first noveling attempt, back when I was maybe eleven, was in present tense. So what changed in the last thirteen or so years to make present tense such a deal breaker?

I honestly don’t know.

Other writing styles don’t throw me as much. For instance, my current preference is 1st person pov, but I easily get immersed in books written in 3rd person pov and will accept a certain amount of head hoping without it distracting me. Most of what I read and everything I write is past tense these days, so it could be a familiarity thing. Maybe if I read more books in present tense it wouldn’t surprise me with every sentence.

Question: What throws you out of a story?

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