Friday, April 14, 2017

A Tense Post

First order of business, I finally heard back from that local publication I submitted to back in the end of January. They didn't want the story. And that's fine. It's actually good. For one thing, I submitted it under the pseudonym I have since decided not to use. And for another, it means you get to read it here. Right now.

Without further ado, I present "Save Yourself."

This was, as far as I know, the only story I've ever written in the present tense. You might ask why. Well, for one thing, present tense creates a sort of sense of urgency, because it's happening right now, rather than being told in past tense from some  future perspective. But I didn't set out to do that. I didn’t have some grand plan about how this would work, and how the story was best told in present tense.

Rather, when I had the idea for the story, I scribbled down a brief moment, ending with "And… the safety's on," which is in present tense. That's just how I scribbled it. And it wouldn't sound right in past tense. So the whole story became present tense.

Tense isn't usually a thing I consider when starting a story. I write in past tense and that's that. But there really is this whole other world of tenses. Lots of books are written in present tense. I've heard it's popular in Young Adult books, and The Hunger Games series and the Divergent series are both in present tense. But it's not just a YA thing. Fight Club is in present tense apparently (I haven't read it), as are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and All Quiet on the Western Front (both of which I've read, but forgot what tense they were in).

Point is, it's not uncommon to write stories in present tense. Less common than past, but not unheard of. But for some reason it's taken me this long to give it a go. So now is there a new channel open to me? A whole other dimension in space-time for me to occupy?

You know, I'd like to take it a step further. One day, I'd like to write a story in future tense. I have no idea how that would work, but I want to try it. The only way I can think to do it would be to have a frame story in past or present tense, and then the inner story being told from the POV of a character who could see the future. So the whole story would be like a prophecy or something. I don't know. I make up all of this as I go.

I'm just trying to expand my repertoire. It's the same reason that I keep writing in different genres. I have to try everything. How will I know what I want to do or what I'm good at unless I try all of it? And as it is, I have barely scratched the surface on the multitude of genres out there. I haven't really tried romance. Or religious fiction. That would be interesting, coming from me. I've never tried high fantasy (elves and magic and shit), or a proper western, or something with aliens. I have a lot of ground to cover still. Maybe my next project, after Camp NaNo is over, will be to write a story in every genre. Well, maybe not every genre. But a good amount of them. I mean, look at all of these. So much potential in there.

Oh, and if you're wondering how Camp NaNo is going, well, I think I'm still on track with word count. Nothing too exciting is happening. I've only killed one person. It's pretty basic.

Well, I'd better get back to it. I'll see you Tuesday.

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