Thursday, March 27, 2014

What tense do you use most often???

I read an article in Writer's Digest (WD) online yesterday that got me thinking and wondering - what tense do you write in most often?  The article was written by Brian Klems who is one of the editors at WD.  He was listing the pros and cons of writing in present tense and it got me thinking.

I had read a few articles/blog posts from other editors and authors who almost universally suggested that present tense was the way to go.  It lends and immediacy and in your face quality to the story and keeps it lively, or so the arguments went. It made sense to me at the time and I bought it wholeheartedly.  I even went back and am editing my novel, A Quarter Ton to Kona, rewriting it in present tense.

Klems' article got me thinking, though. Was this the right thing to do?  I'm not sure at the moment.  I'm just over halfway through the novel with the edit and its coming along slowly.  I don't think there should be a hard and fast rule about this.  Mixed tenses are great as they allow the author to bring in past events and manipulate time lines. I even think about the classic stories and fairy tales that start 'Once upon a time...' and realize that past tense is very useful in story telling.

So, I'm curious, when you write, what tense do you use?  Do you stick with one or do you use mixed tenses as appropriate to tell the story?  I would love to hear what you think!

Keep on writing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Novel or Screenplay

As I'm writing my novel, "A Quarter Ton to Kona",  I see that there is massive competition for resources in the novel space and it scares me a bit.  I really think my novel is a pretty inspirational story and that it could well help people make positive changes in their lives.  My fear is that the message won't be seen by very many if I stick with the novel format.  If I could get it made as a movie, I think it has a much better chance of reaching people.  I can actually see it in my mind as the movie plays out.  The scenes are perfect for the screen and it might actually allow there to be more subtle nuances than I have written, depending n the actors used.

I have other ideas that seem to play out in my mind as if they are on a screen.  I can see and hear the action and ambient or background sounds as well as see and feel the dialog. "The Elevator Story" also lends itself to that type of presentation.  I can see scenes and action and I think it might play out better on the screen than what I can write.

This brings me to my dilemma: do I continue to work on both of these, editing and rewriting them as novels, or should I look at them as screenplays and rewrite them as such?  Should I write the novels and adapt them to the screen?  I just don't know.  I'm more comfortable in the novel arena as I have read many, many novels, but never looked at a written screenplay.  That is my big hesitation.

What would you do?????