moody

Fight it? Or not?

I'm trying to write something in the present tense. I keep slipping back into the conventional past. Fight this trend, yes or no?

I always worry that tense games are pretentious. You know, all Raymond Carver and jay McInerney. I worry that they're gimmicky, as if I'm saying that my story isn't good enough to hold attention all on its own. Because they are unconventional, they make it harder for the reader to slip into the fictional dream. Though that might be the intention. I do feel that sort of rushy, ephemeral vibe that the present tense can give you.

Buh. I dunno. Opinions on tense issues in general?
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I write what feels right for the story, generally that's the past tense, though I do believe I've written a few things in the present. Go with what feels right, not what's trendy.
As long as it is not an ABH present tense I am fine with it. I hate those, they mess with my brain.

I have no problem with a story that alternates present and past tenses deliberately.

I also have no problem with a story that stays in the present tense.

And I like your stories so I would read it if it did fluctuate.
I wouldn't wobble back & forth in a single story without a darn good reason, some scheme I was working out. I'm fussing about the decision to use the present tense at all. Sigh.
I do feel that sort of rushy, ephemeral vibe that the present tense can give you.

*nods*

I think present tense is a very effective tool for creating or reinforcing that sense of immediacy. As a reader, I don't find it all that offputting, because I've seen it so often, but it does keep me on edge. The corrollary to that immediacy, however, is a feeling of uncertainty or peril. Which sometimes is what you want in a fic and sometimes... not.