[personal profile] polomonkey
Hey guys, was hoping to solicit some opinions! I tend to automatically write in present tense but I wonder if it puts people off. I'm about to embark on another long fic which feels like it probably should be past tense but I have to fight all the time while I'm writing not to slip back into present! Any thoughts?

[Poll #2034519]

On a side note, do you think different tenses suit different kind of fics?

Date: 2016-01-24 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 5leggedcricket.livejournal.com
I think both tenses work in general. Sometimes a certain fic will work better with a specific tense, but in general both work equally well.

Date: 2016-02-06 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Ah good, that makes me relieved :)

Date: 2016-01-24 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachelautumn.livejournal.com
I absolutely think different tenses suit different fics. And I am a big believer in the arts that the only rule that matters is whether you got away with it. A lot of people like present tense cos of the immediacy. Spowell changed to it, I know. But if you need back story, exposition etc. , past tense is good. Neat question, Polo!

Date: 2016-02-06 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Ahhh that thing about back story vs immediacy makes so much sense to me, thank you! Also, that is a good rule to live by :D

Date: 2016-01-24 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yesimafan.livejournal.com
when I first started reading fanfic I found it interesting how many writers wrote in present tense, and I didn't mind it if the writing was good. I don't mind anything if the writing is really good!

I find it almost impossible to write in the present tense. It feels 18 kinds of wrong to me, but I think I've just read too many traditional novels in my life to acclimate to writing in it. Present tense reminds me of like French avant garde novels ;) EXCEPT in fic. I like it well enough when reading fic, like I said.

Obviously, any epistolary form requires present tense, and that always adds suspense/interest :)

I think you can pull off ANYTHING, Polo! The tough thing with writing past tense is doing flashbacks. "He had had to ask what Merlin'd done." etc. But so what! lol That's what betas are for ;)

Date: 2016-02-07 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Ah I love that you referenced French avant garde novels, I'll take your word for it as I haven't read any! And argh you are sooo right about the had had nightmare mess! I got into that the other day, persevered for a paragraph, then switched to simple past sharpish :D

Date: 2016-01-24 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] argentsleeper.livejournal.com
I've only used present tense in one fic, On Call, and it was meant to show an emotional difference when it switched in the next chapter to past tense (Arthur can't handle thinking about the terrible thing happening right NOW).

It only bothers me though in other fic when the tense changes constantly from one paragraph to another. Or sentence to another. Or part of a sentence to another.

Date: 2016-02-07 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Very occasionally I just have no idea which tense is which! It's when you get into all that 'had had' business...

Date: 2016-01-24 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merlocked18.livejournal.com

OK, funny how I thought of this exact thing earlier today, reading fic. If I had to choose: past tense. And 3rd person.
But Polo can do whatever she wants, because she hasĀ  the gift.

Date: 2016-02-07 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
I think past tense is definitely slightly favoured among most! I definitely agree about third person! I can't really read first person fic, it just doesn't work for me somehow

Date: 2016-01-24 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merlocked18.livejournal.com


Date: 2016-01-24 08:00 pm (UTC)
kitty_fic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kitty_fic
Sometimes I do notice, but I'm happy to enjoy both. But generally if it's well written I likely won't even notice the tense.

I do think different tenses can work better for differnet fics. I'm generally happy to read both. I think present tense creates more urgency and can work really well with smut especially ;)

Date: 2016-02-07 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Oooh I think I agree with you about present tense for smut actually! It's very... immediate...

Date: 2016-01-26 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] side-steppings.livejournal.com
I think generally tenses work with certain styles of writing. I've only ever written in past (although now you mention it I could always try present), but in general if the writing is great then I don't mind the tense, and I don't think present would put me off as long as it worked.

I know with 'In Spite of Everything' I really liked your present tense, and it worked really well fo the fic! But if you wanted to try past tense, I'm sure you could make it work too!!

Date: 2016-02-07 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Oh thank you so much! I think that's when someone commented about the present tense and I realised for the first time how much I write in it! You should definitely give present a go and let me know how you get on...

Date: 2016-01-28 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com
Yes, actually, I wish the poll had a choice, "It depends on the story." Honestly, you are such a powerful writer I can't imagine not being happy with whatever feels right to you for whatever particular story you are writing. What bothers me most is inconsistency...unless it's being used for a purpose.

Date: 2016-02-07 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Bless you, why are you so nice? *cuddles* Yes I agree about the inconsistency thing, I hate when I read one of my fics back and notice a random word in the wrong tense! So annoying

Date: 2016-02-09 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks for the *cuddles* and cuddles back!

It drives me crazy...no matter how many times I read something I've writtten I always find one more thing to change. Sometimes an actual error, and other times just something I feel I could have said better. At some point, I just have to give up!

I rarely read anything without seeing some tiny typos or errors. I just read a completely fabulous, beautifully written story, but there was one paragraph where the tense changed suddenly and it was a bit jarring....I suspect that the author cut and pasted it from a different version, or maybe she got so caught up in the fantastic sex scene she was writing that she was living it in the present. It really rarely interferes much with my enjoyment of a good story. Even in published books there are invariably some errors. With fanfic I'm never sure whether to let the author know or not.

Date: 2016-02-14 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polomonkey.livejournal.com
Ahh yes that's a real tricky one! I personally never inform the author unless they're my friend, I never know how they're going to take it :/ Literally just yesterday I reread one of my old WIPs and had to go in and correct a whole paragraph for tenses! It never ends...



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