?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Mama Deb
mamadeb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]
Writing Question

I'm starting the sequel to "Beautiful Boy."

And I think it wants to be present tense, but only in part. How bad would it be if all and only the sex scenes were in present tense? I can even think of some dramatic uses of this - the scene is interrupted and we're back in past tense. OTOH, that can also be very *bad*.

So. Whole thing one tense - probably past? Or get fancy? Or try and see?

Current Mood: inquisitive
Comments

I only wanted to say: Yay for the sequel project! *bounce bounce*

I'm not really qualified for answering writing questions, but I don't mind present tense in fiction, I've even read some stories where tense shifts really worked, though iirc the ones I remember the different tenses were more like for indicating different POV characters or for different story subplots, like when one part happens earlier than the rest. Using a different tense just for sex scenes sounds a bit odd, though you could always try and rewrite if it doesn't work.

Try and see. I lose time when going into an action sequence sometimes...

Aw, man. A sequel? I don't think my day could get any better.

As for the tenses: I don't know. I'm not generally fond of fics that change tenses, but if there was an explanation for it, i.e. flashbacks, it could work, if done right.

standard every day writing advice: write it as it demands to be written; revise it as it needs to read.

or, in plain English: write it in as many tenses as you like and if when you revise it the tenses need to be changed, do so then.

And I think it wants to be present tense, but only in part. How bad would it be if all and only the sex scenes were in present tense? I can even think of some dramatic uses of this - the scene is interrupted and we're back in past tense.

Hmm...that's an interesting approach. I think it could work. Wording the transitions might be tough, but it could be done. I've changed tenses in a story, putting the different tense in italics for the whole of the scene...usually for flashbacks, or "braided" scenes. I think it helps the reader note there's a change and that it's a planned change, with purposeful intent.

Looking forward to seeing what you do!

Present tense is immediate. It's also somewhat distancing if misused. I did this once, in one chapter of 'True Minds' when Severus finally lost his virginity to Juliana in a ritual situation, and I'm still not sure I'm happy with it, but it flowed that way.

I think doing it deliberately and for every single sex scene might be a little obvious, and when a writer's stylistic choices become obvious it tends to distract and detract from a story--unless it's a very stylised piece of work.

Interruption=tense change will be very tricky to handle.

You could try writing the whole thing in present tense.

I haven't read the original story yet but I'd agree that the whole thing in present tense would be easier to handle than parts. Just a thought. Sex scenes in present could be an interesting intense idea. I have to finish the last chapter of a fic written in present pretty soon, with a PG-13 love scene... I'll let you know how it goes LOL

Er, well, I've only read part of the original story. I was just thinking in general terms of what works/doesn't work.

Certain sex scenes don't work well in present tense because they are so fast-moving. I write serials, a chapter at a time, and sometimes a chapter will be in present tense; but I think it's not a good idea to switch tenses unless you can make it seamless, so no-one notices it on the first read.

I've seen tense changes work well, though they usually signal POV changes (character, timeline). Setting off the changed scenes somehow (extra whitespace, the "* * *" convention, font change -- though I dislike long passages in harder-to-read fonts -- may also be helpful.

Try it and see what happens; you can always change it later.