Jan 27, 2010

Writing in Present Tense

I just finished reading Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Actually, that's not true. I just finished listening to it--my first audio book. I have to say it was a first for me in a lot of ways. I have a tendency to lean toward romance when I pick a novel, and even though this has a bit of "love" twisted in with the danger and suspense, it's more a Dystopian Young Adult. I've only read a handful of those. I must say I really liked Hunger Games and can't wait to get the sequel.

The other thing that was different, was the tense. I'd only read one other book in present tense and at first it seemed strange. By the time I was finished, I love it. I've never written present tense, but am seriously considering it on my next project. I'd love to give it a try and see if I can do it. I imagine it to be hard at first, stumbling over my words and catching my habit of writing past tense in every sentence, but after a while, I think it will be easier, just like listening to Hunger Games was.

So, I'm curious. Have you tried writing in present tense? Is it always in 1st person or can it be done in 3rd? Do you have any advice? Is this something just for YA or do you think adult fiction can handle it too?


  1. I haven't. When I read present tense, I usually find it kind of awkward so I don't really have a desire to write in it, but I haven't read Hunger Games yet. We'll see how I feel after that. Everyone loves it!

  2. I read an adult fantasy written in present tense. The language sucked me in.

  3. I loved Hunger Games and its sequel Catching Fire. I was intrigued by present tense, too. I'm not sure I could do it, but I'd love to read yours if you try it!

  4. I have this book in my car it is on my too read list because everyone is saying it is great. I will have to get back to you on present tense.

  5. I understand present tense is one of the hardest ones to pull off (which is why I'm not brave enough to try it yet! =P ) But I loved the idea of trying it in 3rd person. I don't know that I've ever heard that done before.

  6. Jodi Picoult often writes in present tense with a variety of POV's and her books are typically contemporary adult. Check her out.

    I'm writing Children of the Gods right now in first person present tense, but it alternates between the male MC and female MC.

    Try it out. It's way fun. Lends itself particularly well to stories with a lot of tension and drama.