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Sarah Daffy

Has anyone done this?

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I'm currently in the process of writing an action/adventure/spy novel, and I'm writing it in first person present tense. Has anyone done this? If so, do you have any advice?

Edited by Sarah Daffy

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Yes, Sarah.  Although I've written primarily in the third person, I have written novels in the first person.  But there's nothing really to tell you except stay on point and make it interesting enough to readers that they will keep reading.  Remember- the reader is everything.

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This post (https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/7-essential-guidelines-for-writing-in-first-person/) says:

 

Quote

The first person, present tense combination has proven effective for many authors, and is particularly common in the world of young adult fiction. This combination lends a sense of immediacy and urgency to the story, so it's well-suited to fast-paced stories with high stakes and lots of action.

 

A quick survey of internet articles has some experienced authors saying they would never attempt it, while others are fearless. 

 

I have written in third person limited and first person, but always in past tense. I save fanciness for dialogue and interior monologue.

 

For my current WIP, I decided to make my narrator an enchanted, mind-reading pendant with his own agenda. He is attached to a necklace and is passed from character to character, enabling him to see the action from different angles. "Peter Pendant" is not above using a little mind control to reach his goal, but his ability is hampered by amnesia - he has forgotten his mission! Playing with narrative structure is fun.

 

Paul

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I usually write in third person, past tense, but I wrote a novel in first person, past tense. I really enjoyed writing it, and it turned out to be one of my best. However, I don't think I'd ever attempt one in present tense. I've read some in present tense and (to me) it just has a awkward flow. But there is an audience for it, so give it a try.   

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My advice is purely preference - write it in First Person Past Tense. I find Present Tense wearisome and I won't read novels written in the tense. (Hunger Games, I'm lookin' at you.)

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