December 5, 2010

We Interrupt This Series...

During my Beta-ing services, I've come across a very interesting topic. Interesting to me, anyway.

Present vs. Past tense writing

Now, I'd have to say all of the books I read, including YA, are written in past tense (i.e. I looked over to her.), but, as one of my Betas pointed out, YA is usually written in present tense (i.e. I look over to her.)

For me, in any type of writing, present tense just sounds off and I've never read or written any novels in present tense. question to my Beta correct in stating that most YA is written in present tense? Are you comfortable writing in present tense or does it sound off to you as well?

Please chime in! I really would like to know for future critiques.


  1. Hmmm...I have no idea the stats, but I'm like you. I can't write in present. It feels "off" to me. I don't mind reading it when it's done right. And when I say "right", I mean it creates a great sense of immediacy. But when done wrong, it's painfully awkward.

  2. So true. I try to write in present but find myself interchanging between past and present tense. Argh.

  3. I've got an award for you at my blog!

  4. Thanks, Saumya! I've displayed it proudly :)

  5. Present tense can work really well in certain situations. If you have a lot of flashbacks, for example, because that keeps the flashbacks parts (written in past tense, while the rest is in present) from feeling non-immediate. Did I explain that at all? lol. I have seen a lot of YA in present tense, but unless there's a reason for it, to me it feels odd. I generally write in past tense :)


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