Easter's Lilly

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How to Tell Your Story

There are so many options these days on how to tell your story. The newest form of first-person writing is writing in the present tense. At first, I found it difficult to identify with, yet after I got used to it, I think I actually enjoy it now. The present tense has a tendency to put the reader directly into the action without looking back. I have quite a few books under my belt, and they are all written in the past tense. If you read novels by such quality authors as Stephen King, Nora Roberts, or JK Rowling, you will see that they all write in the past tense, and that is where most of us get our cue. I have to wonder who started the present tense writing in the first place.

I remember when my novel, Ivy Vines, Visions was still in the “on the shelf” phase. An agent asked me to rewrite it in the present tense. I couldn’t imagine the work doing something like that might entail and the inconsistencies that might arise from trying to change the point of view throughout the entire novel. Although that agent is no longer working in our exciting industry, I see now why she proposed such an idea. It is becoming more popular among independent authors, and she thought it might behoove me to jump on board. I have two novels in the making as we speak, and although both of them are in the first-person, only one is in the present tense.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the challenges of how to tell your story. What tense do you prefer and why? Personally, it gives me great pleasure to read books from all different points of view. If we all wrote in the same manner, reading wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.