Past Tense Vs Present Tense

When I first started writing, my opinion was that the tense didn’t matter. My entire focus was to get the story out, get the story told exactly the way I needed. And the only way for me to do that was to write in present tense. Even now after writing for almost two years, I write in present tense. The only way to explain it is that in my mind, the story is happening in this very moment. The feelings as purely written as I feel in that moment.

So when the discussion of tense change came about, I sided with present tense. I was already writing that way and it seemed to be my personal preference. I didn’t understand the difficulty of reading present tense versus past tense after reading my own stories so many times. And to be clear, I’m not putting down anyone who prefers to read or write either tense.

I’m in the process of getting Glimmer of Hope edited. And one of the first things that my editor stated was that it would be easier for readers if it were written in past tense. While I’ve been possibly stubborn on sticking to my present tense side of the fence, my only purpose is to get my story out there. Isn’t that what really matters?

And as if to put this into perspective, the next book I purchased on Amazon was written in present tense. While I am in total agreement of going through situations with the characters, loving every minute of it might I add, that I had to make an adjustment to get into the writing style. It wasn’t a hard adjustment but I still had to make one and I’m open to the present tense. I could only imagine someone not interested in present tense, taking one look and then putting it down.

While the preference of tense still seems to be in debate, the real question still remains. However it isn’t the question that most would think it is. Some people don’t like westerns or science fiction but that doesn’t mean writers should stop writing it. It is all about reader preference. What are you willing to risk to get your story out there? Are you willing to risk losing readers because of your writing preference?

And only you can answer that.

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