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Old 01-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #26
A_Little_Show
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Originally Posted by dickens_cider View Post
I just abandoned a story with what appeared to be a decent plot because it was written entirely in the present tense.

I have a problem wrapping my mind around a tale that is supposedly describing an experience when it is also supposedly happening as I read it.

I fail to understand why an author would use this format.

Does anyone here see a useful purpose for such a style?
I just read a new and highly rated story written in first person present tense (with a few typos and tense slips) I didn't vote on it.
http://www.literotica.com/s/the-scul...his-muse-ch-01
http://www.literotica.com/s/the-scul...his-muse-ch-02
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Last edited by A_Little_Show : 01-04-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:40 PM   #27
OpenMouth
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I write all my stories in present tense; I never really thought til now that it might be grating on anyone!

I'm not a great author, though, so the glaring inadequacies of my material will probably be more of an issue.

I like to get filthy stuff on the screen and saved while I'm in a filthy mood. My stories are more Kerouac (typing) than Capote (writing). Pretentious, moi?

Hahaha
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:38 PM   #28
Acktion
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This is how it was explained to me. I'm not smart enough to come up with something this cerebral on my own.

If it's present tense, there can be no reflection. Not even thought. Nothing that can not be experienced directly through one of the five senses.

If there is any thought, any searching of feelings, just one iota of reflection then it properly falls to the past tense since it can only be thought, felt, or reflected on after it has occurred.

I'd be happy to cite, but I honestly can't remember just where I heard/read it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:30 PM   #29
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acktion View Post
This is how it was explained to me. I'm not smart enough to come up with something this cerebral on my own.

If it's present tense, there can be no reflection. Not even thought. Nothing that can not be experienced directly through one of the five senses.

If there is any thought, any searching of feelings, just one iota of reflection then it properly falls to the past tense since it can only be thought, felt, or reflected on after it has occurred.

I'd be happy to cite, but I honestly can't remember just where I heard/read it.
I would disagree with this, although I think it's an interesting way to look at things. But a character could say something like:

"I see the storm outside. For a moment, I'm back in the boat. The feeling passes and I close the curtains."
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:00 PM   #30
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acktion View Post
This is how it was explained to me. I'm not smart enough to come up with something this cerebral on my own.

If it's present tense, there can be no reflection. Not even thought. Nothing that can not be experienced directly through one of the five senses.

If there is any thought, any searching of feelings, just one iota of reflection then it properly falls to the past tense since it can only be thought, felt, or reflected on after it has occurred.

I'd be happy to cite, but I honestly can't remember just where I heard/read it.
This really doesn't make sense to me. A present-tense story can still describe sequential events: I write what happens to me at 12:00 pm, and then I write how I react to it at 12:01. For another, a person can think about things that are ongoing.

Come to think of it, "this really doesn't make sense to me" is a present-tense reflection. As is "come to think of it"...

I mostly write in past tense, but I'll use present when the story calls for it. My best-rated story on Lit has a long present-tense section.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:45 PM   #31
sr71plt
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The use of present tense would be for the action and chronology in the story. The protagonist certainly could both think and speak of events of the past.
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