Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A Tense Situation
I'm having a strange time with my latest manuscript. Some of you might remember Rhys and Isaac from my m/m/f short story Play Music, Play Magic that came out a while back in the anthology I Put a Spell on You. Well, I've been wondering about the boys' origin story since I wrote that, and now I'm starting to drag it out of them. (They're both a bit closed-mouthed on the matter, and as I'm writing I'm finding out why. *eep!*) Here's the weird part: they're both talking to me in first person. Okay, that's only half of the weird. The other half, and if you'll pardon the mathematical impossibility, the bigger half, is that they're both telling me their story in present tense. WTF, right? I mean, this is a trend I've noticed lately in the YA books I've read. There's a delightful immediacy to first person, present tense that I think maybe appeals to the modern young adult reader. But for erotic romance it seems a little, well, bizarre. Am I simply old-fashioned and out of touch? Do readers dig that sort of thing? Do they even care what tense a book is written in? Does it all depend? I'd love to hear what you think, because it's tripping me out, frankly, but at the same time I don't want to get to the end and then have to edit it all over into past tense.