Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Person, Past Tense: Good or Bad?

I wrote one of my short stories in first person, past tense. That means that it went something like this: I walked down the hall and saw a man there... etc. Personally, this is my favorite tense for first person narrative. I really dislike first person, present tense, i.e., I walk down the hall and see a man. It seems so stilted and uncomfortable to me. It just doesn't read well!

However, in my creative writing class, my professor said, "Writing the first person account in the past tense suggests she is retelling the story." There were other comments that suggested he wasn't a fan of this tense because of the effect it has: that it leads the reader to expect the character narrating has survived and is recounting the story.

I'm not sure I agree.

One of my favorite authors, Rachel Vincent, writes in the first person, past tense. Her Shifters series and Blood Bound series are written this way, and not once while I was reading them did I say to myself: Oh, look at that. It's written in first person, present tense. Therefore she must be successful by the end of the story! I didn't feel that Rachel's characters were retelling their stories. I felt that I was right there with them, every step of the way.

I'd like to hear some other opinions on this, so please feel free to comment, fellow writers and readers! Do you agree that this viewpoint leads the reader to believe the narrator has survived and is retelling the story?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life Keeps Me Busy!

Well, it's been too long since my last post, but in my defense, I have a lot going on! I'm in my fourth year of university and the light is at the end of the tunnel. I'm so excited to be finished school and get busy with editing and writing.

A lot has happened since my post in January. I've joined the Editor's Association of Canada, and doing so has given me a leg up into the world of editing. My business is up and running, so I've been doing small projects here and there in between the homework I have to do. It feels good to be doing a job that I love!

I also got into a Creative Writing Class at the U of S with Guy Vanderhaeghe and so far, it's been really helpful. I've written a lot of short stuff that has potential with more work. It's really nice that some of the homework I have to do is writing assignments, especially since some classes seem to be especially dull this year.

As for my novel, it's been sitting here on my desk for a while since I finished writing it. I'm going to edit it myself one last time and then I'm going to send it to another editor to look it over. I know it might be a weird concept, because after all, I should be able to do all the edits myself, right? Wrong! My manuscript is my baby and I'm extremely bias, so I'm unlikely to see the flaws. Every author needs an editor! Even the authors who are also editors.

Till next time (which hopefully won't be a year from now)!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Computer Crash

So unfortunately, I had the bad luck to have my computer crash on me. It was devastating, to say the least. I lost numerous short stories, all of my copy editing stuff and other important documents that I had saved for future reference. But the biggest hit of all was the loss of my most recent manuscript. Thank goodness that I have a hardcopy that I can retype. Despite this setback, I’m confident that I can try to rewrite a few of the short stories from memory, and I have come up with an idea for the second book in what I’m calling my Saskatoon series. I also seem to have to find things out the hard way, but at least I’ve learned that things need to be backed up frequently! I have my writing stuff now saved on an external hard drive, another computer AND on a jump drive. I think I may be slightly paranoid, now!

Well, I have to hit the books. I gotta say, in my third year of university, I’m tired of reading textbooks and writing essays! It’s been really difficult to get back on the school horse after the holidays.

Talk soon :)