PDA

View Full Version : Present Tense More Common?



Storyteller5
07-23-2011, 03:09 AM
It seems a lot of books I've read lately are written in the present tense. Is this become more common? I used to find most of the present tense books I read were in the first person, but now it's a mix of all viewpoints.

Cyia
07-23-2011, 03:18 AM
It's very common in YA novels.

Becca_H
07-23-2011, 03:20 PM
I've seen a swing towards present tense, too, but I'm also part of the YA crowd. I write exclusively in present tense now. Anything else seems to stand out to me.

Undercover
07-23-2011, 05:39 PM
My books seem to be better in present tense. I don't know if being able to get a YA agent for it made it better, but I would agree in YA novels it is more common.

Storyteller5
07-23-2011, 09:42 PM
I'm not reading YA these days, but interesting to hear it's becoming prevalent there.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2011, 03:52 AM
No, past tense is still, thank God, far, far more common than present tense. Ninety percent or more of the books I pick up are past tense. And agents and editors are even starting to balk at present tense in YA,

Becca_H
07-25-2011, 04:05 AM
And agents and editors are even starting to balk at present tense in YA,

Do you have any links for this? I'd be very interested as a present tense YA writer.

Cyia
07-25-2011, 04:06 AM
And agents and editors are even starting to balk at present tense in YA,


Mine must have missed the memo.

kuwisdelu
07-25-2011, 04:40 AM
No, past tense is still, thank God, far, far more common than present tense. Ninety percent or more of the books I pick up are past tense. And agents and editors are even starting to balk at present tense in YA,

And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that not all writers write in the same tense and POV. The reading world would be a far more boring place that way.

thebloodfiend
07-25-2011, 04:42 AM
Mine must have missed the memo.

I must have missed it too.

Here's what an agent says: http://kidlit.com/2011/02/09/tense-about-tense/

I like present tense if I can't tell I'm reading present tense. I prefer first person past and most of my books are written in that tense from that perspective. But agents don't seem adverse to it. Almost every book I've picked up this year was written in first person present.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2011, 07:53 PM
And thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that not all writers write in the same tense and POV. The reading world would be a far more boring place that way.

Not for me, but for many, you're right. I'd be incredibly happy if I never, ever opened another book to discover present tense.

Mharvey
07-25-2011, 08:21 PM
Present tense is okay - I'm still not used to it though, so it throws me for about 4 paragraphs or so until I adjust.

I'm still stuck in the past. No pun intended. :D

DeadlyAccurate
07-25-2011, 08:26 PM
And agents and editors are even starting to balk at present tense in YA,

Cite?

I've seen no evidence of this whatsoever, so you're going to have to back up this claim before I give it any credence. And probably 50% or more of the books I read (since I read a lot of YA) are in present tense.

Storyteller5
07-25-2011, 08:48 PM
Not for me, but for many, you're right. I'd be incredibly happy if I never, ever opened another book to discover present tense.

I really don't care for first person/present tense. Third person/present is alright, but I like third person/past if given a choice.

RobJ
07-25-2011, 10:20 PM
I'd be incredibly happy if I never, ever opened another book to discover present tense.
Stop opening books ;)

CAWriter
07-25-2011, 10:51 PM
I don't know about YA either, but I am finding it more common in books I've been reading and I really don't care for it. It's the rare writer who can deftly pull off present tense. I feel like if I'm actually aware of the tense, then it's intrusive and not effective.

As a writer, I can understand the desire to challenge oneself by writing 3rd person present, but so far I'm not seeing it done really well.

Satori1977
07-26-2011, 09:21 AM
The majority of what I read is first past, followed by third past. I am seeing more present tense books. Not sure if more are being pubbed, or I am just reading a wider variety of books. I have to say present tense is not my preference. Sometimes the tense sticks out, is awkward, and I end up putting the book down. But for some, the writing is so beautiful, so flawless, I don't even notice. That is what I look for. To lose myself so completely in a story that I don't notice things like tense.

DancingMaenid
07-26-2011, 09:30 AM
I've definitely been noticing present tense a lot more lately, though I have no way of knowing if that actually indicates a new trend or not. I don't read a lot of YA, but I'm seeing more present tense in adult contemporary fiction.

I used to find present tense awkward, but I don't anymore.

AlishaS
07-28-2011, 10:18 PM
I write YA and they are all Present tense. However, it's more common in that age group.

I just find for me, it's feel right. So do what you feel is right and you can't go wrong :)

Cyia
07-29-2011, 01:58 AM
But for some, the writing is so beautiful, so flawless, I don't even notice. That is what I look for. To lose myself so completely in a story that I don't notice things like tense.

This is the key to writing any tense successfully.