Verb Tenses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZionsRodeVos, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. ZionsRodeVos

    ZionsRodeVos New Member

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    From what I've learned of writing it is best to write using a specific tense. Is this right for the most part? I realize there may be exceptions. For example the novel I am writing now is all written in the past tense. In fact I go over the story trying to make sure I haven't mixed in different tenses.

    Or is it OK to mix tenses every paragraph? Or every chapter?
     
  2. Elf JoElle

    Elf JoElle New Member

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    In general books are written in the past tense and in third person. But not always.

    There are plenty of novels written in the present tense. And there are quite a few written in first person (like 'Twilight').

    The only real rule is to be consistent in your writing. It sounds like you are by going through and checking to make sure you don't mix them up.

    :)
     
  3. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    I agree. You really have to look at it from a storyteller's perspective. Who is telling the story? Is it an anecdote (something that has already happened) or a narration (something that is happening now)? Is it an old man telling his grandkids in front of the fire or someone telling you what they're seeing. If you think about it like that you can see that you can't really jump around in tenses. Really, the only time you can jump tense is when it's a first person narration and they are remembering something (flashback).
     
  4. ZionsRodeVos

    ZionsRodeVos New Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Forgive me for being slow to reply. I did read them the day you posted but was waiting in case there were more replies and then got side tracked and forgot about this thread until today.

    Thanks for confirming to me that it is worth my effort to make sure I am using the same tense unless there is a real need to use a different one.

    The nice thing about past tense is that I don't have to change the tense when using flash backs and I do have a few in my story.