Writing in First Person, Present Tense? Think Again

Write or Wrong Blog

I must admit I wasn’t aware of the growing trend in fiction of authors writing stories and novels in the present tense until I read David Jauss’ chapter “Remembrance of Things Present” in his volume On Writing Fiction (Writers Digest Books, 2011).

If you’ve written something in first person present tense or are in the process of doing so, I strongly recommend you read this chapter. Jauss reviews the origins of present tense writing, suggests why it’s become popular and details seven advantages and 10 disadvantages of using this format. In my humble opinion, the disadvantages win hands down. Yet, Jauss believes it can be done well if the writer is aware of the pitfalls.

In truth, very few writers manage present tense without falling prey to more than one of the negatives. Oddly, I happen to be in the middle of a political thriller that is written in present…

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