How do you feel about the present tense in the book?

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pilvi
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How do you feel about the present tense in the book?

Post by pilvi »

The book is written in present tense. Do you feel this unusual choice was a good one from the author? Does it bring the story out in the best possible way? Would it have been a different story if written in past tense?

For me, it took time to get into the story. The present tense felt weird in the beginning and I noticed I was resisting somehow. But when I got sucked into the story, I mostly forgot to pay attention to the tense, as it was consistent and well done.

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Post by Jeyasivananth »

I think quite a few authors have used present tense especially in stream of consciousness narration. So saying , I think the tense could be an intentional ruse , possibly a symbol to signify the ever changing , transforming nature of our lives, fates and characters. Past tense would be a dead end , fatalistic attitude to life, rendering flat characters with no scope for growth. However being in the present demands us to be aware , to be vigilant, to adapt to the vicissitudes of life.

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Post by StarsAtNight »

(Are you talking about a specific book?)
[This is really my opinion]
While a majority of writers and readers start out with past tense because it appears to be easier, some people have started moving on onto present tense because it's truly simpler; you may find it's a lot easier to use writing techniques such as metaphors and similes, as well as describing settings, feelings, etc.

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Post by Kieran_Obrien »

The present tense of the Book didn't really affect the way I read it. Could've been written in the past tense to no detriment!

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Post by Yolimari »

I was fine reading the story in present tense. I felt like the events were occurring at real time.
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Post by CommMayo »

Funny, this didn't even register for me as I was reading the book. I guess I just get a little blind to tense. I know I have major issues switching back and forth between tenses in my own writing. It is a terrible habit I have to really watch myself about.

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Post by anneloretrujillo »

I love the present tense when it is used correctly. It makes me feel like I am living the story with the characters, not just reading about something that has already happen. The biggest problem is that authors tend to struggle in keeping the present tense consistent throughout the book. I haven't gotten to read this book yet, so I'm not actually sure if it was consistent or how it brought out the story. I will have to check back in after I read it.

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Post by centfie »

I have not read this book yet but now that I know that the author used present tense, I am curious. I have read several books that use the present tense to narrate but sometimes the author also include flashbacks. Hence, making it easier to know the time differences within the plot. In my opinion, the present tense makes the reader to relate to the story as if it is happening here and now.
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Post by Hheaton »

I feel like present tense narration is the new trend in writing. I am reading more and more books written in that tense...

...and it drives me nuts. Perhaps I am a traditionalist who likes the comfort of past tense, but I can't help it. I think the present tense does give it this sense of "in the now" and urgency. However, I find that I keep looking for the author to slip up and lose their consistency. Maybe that's the English teacher in me. And when I am too busy trying to look for the verb tense mistake, I lose the storyline - the ultimate crime in reading.

So if I had to decide how I felt about it, I would have to say that I would discourage writers from using it unless they do so PERFECTLY. Otherwise, it sounds like a mess to me.

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Post by bookowlie »

pilvi wrote:
16 Feb 2018, 15:10
The book is written in present tense. Do you feel this unusual choice was a good one from the author? Does it bring the story out in the best possible way? Would it have been a different story if written in past tense?

For me, it took time to get into the story. The present tense felt weird in the beginning and I noticed I was resisting somehow. But when I got sucked into the story, I mostly forgot to pay attention to the tense, as it was consistent and well done.
Very good point! I felt the same way. I found the use of present tense awkward in this story and basically got past it after a while. While it's true the author was consistent with her use of tense, I still think it made the writing feel a little stilted.
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Post by Katherine Smith »

I like present tense because you are experiencing the environment with the characters. I like that past tense would be good for historical novels or genres similar to that. I think that some people are used to the past tense that when a book is written in present tense it makes it more difficult to read.
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Post by CatInTheHat »

Katherine Smith wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 16:07
I like present tense because you are experiencing the environment with the characters. I like that past tense would be good for historical novels or genres similar to that. I think that some people are used to the past tense that when a book is written in present tense it makes it more difficult to read.
I tend to like present tense for the same reason you do, but also prefer historical fiction in the past tense. Most importantly, the author must be consistent. It drives me crazy when both are used.
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Post by Melchi Asuma »

I always feel that using the present tense in a novel for a writer is pretty daring. It takes very great authors to pull it off and the author of The Reel Sisters really did pull it off. Hats off to the author.
MA

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Post by amoscent »

the present tense makes the book more lively in the present as I feel it happening right now while reading :o :o :o

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Post by Samy Lax »

Honestly, the use of the present tense didn't bother me much once I got into the rhythm of the whole narrative.
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