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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I walk to the car, I open the door, I don't write in present tense.

I realize that lately I've been neglecting my blog. Granted I've been neglecting it to write a book that I'm really obsessed with. But still. It's no excuse and I apologize to the two people who actually read my blog :)

So I thought to make up for it I'll start being a good writer and actually talk about some writing on here. Good idea right? We'll see.

I started writing my first dystopian YA novel (the one I'm very obsessed with right now) and felt that I needed a challenge. Of course, writing something that isn't peppy contemporary YA fiction was quite a challenge but it needed to be more than that. I'm kind of a lazy writer and I didn't want to get stuck in the rut of always writing the same type of thing. So in challenging myself with this dystopian novel I also decided to change up my writing style. No more comfortable first person past tense. Instead I thought I'd go with third person past tense. Not a huge jump I know but still out of my comfort zone.

How has this been working out? Quite well actually. I find that writing in third person past tense I'm actually able to be much more descriptive. I feel like it's more of a challenge to be funny which is sad for me... I love writing funny books. But since this is dystopian I figured I didn't need to be quite as humorous as a lighthearted contemporary YA book. So it works.

This little self-proclaimed challenge brought me to a realization. I hate writing first person present tense. Or really any present tense if I'm being honest. I can't do it.

Go ahead.

Call me a bad writer. Say I have no skills.

I. don't. care.

I won't write in present tense. That's not to say that books written in present tense are bad (The Hunger Games are present tense and they kick butt). But me writing present tense sounds a bit like this:

I walk to the door. I open the door. I look inside. I try to decide which seat I should take.

I basically sound like Rebecca Black.

No bueno.

Soooo my big writing challenge ended up being a little writing challenge since I'm not branching out enough to reach all the way to present tense.

Oh well... maybe one day.

What about you? What's your preferred writing style? Do you try to branch out? Is there some style you just CANNOT master?

Let me know :)

And be prepared for an epic dystopian novel because this book is totally kicking my butt.

Until next time (which hopefully won't be 3 years from now)



  1. I am currently writing my first manuscript. Who knows if it will ever be published! I'm writing in first person past tense. I'm halfway through and keep slipping into present tense. Sometimes I think I'll change it all to present. Nah, I think I'll plow on through even though it's hard. Maybe my next book I can write in present.

  2. woot woot, one of the two right here! JK, lots of people read, I'm sure.

    I just struggle sticking to one tense, so they say. I didn't think I was bad at it, but the person who reviewed my book review for Deseret News said I did.

    This also makes me realize I haven't written anything other than my blog for a loooooong time. Looks like its one or the other, huh?

  3. Aha! My two readers both left comments lol.

    Kathryn, I think you should just invent an innovative new writing style where you switch back and forth between tenses. Shake things up a bit!

    And Kim we should remind each other to write our blogs or books since we can't seem to keep track of both :)