jennygordon: (Froud - Green Woman)
[personal profile] jennygordon
Tricksy, slippery things, Exploratory Drafts!

When I picked up MoulderingBook on Tuesday, I had written several pages by the time I realised I was writing in first person, present tense.

So what? you ask.

Well, see, the rest of it is in first person, past tense.

I found myself wondering, if my subconscious has me writing this thing in first person, present tense — and it's so natural I don't even realise my mistake — then maybe that's because the whole story wants to be written in first person, present after all.

I tinkered with a few bits and the more I fiddled, the more convinced I grew.

Rats and double rats!

I'm going to ponder it for a while longer before doing anything drastic, and even if I do decide that I need to switch the tense, I'm not going to bother reworking the 20K I've already typed up until I come to work on the next version (i.e. once I have a complete Exploratory Draft). I must forge ahead or risk becoming mired.

It's irritating, but hey-ho, that's what Exploratory Drafts are for. It's kind of fascinating how they sometimes romp off and make their own decisions.

Date: 2015-02-19 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For what it's worth, this happens to me. A lot! When I come to translate my notebook notes I often discoverer I've been writing in first person present.

In my case I think it's because as the storyteller the most natural tense for me is first person anyway, even though my main narrative is third past.

For what it's worth, I'd be wary of first present. It's difficult & can be restricting. I agree with your decision to plough on. Once you have a completed draft & you read it through on paper, it will be obvious which works best. :)

Date: 2015-02-19 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good advice, and very interesting that you find yourself doing the same.

The more I've pondered, the more I'm inclining towards moving to first present. It works for this story, and for the way I want to tell it. I know what you mean about its potential restrictions, which is why it hasn't been appropriate for other stories. It might be perfect for what I'm trying to achieve with Mouldy though.

That said, I won't be reworking the whole of what has gone before at this stage, but I'm thinking I might write in first present from this point forward and see how it works out.

Date: 2015-02-19 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oddly - although I urged caution, as I read your response I had this weird sense of Mouldy absolutely working in first present! A suitably spooky, Gothic moment. ;)

I've hit 30k. I felt it - like a wall of rubble! I'll email detail.

Date: 2015-02-19 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Perfect! On both counts. Well, not the bit about 30K feeling like hiting a wall of rubble, but, y'know ... the rest ...

Date: 2015-02-19 02:54 pm (UTC)


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January 2016


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