Present Tense and Writing Style

Use this forum to discuss the February 2020 Book of the month, "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign
User avatar
siusantos
Posts: 203
Joined: 05 May 2019, 06:43
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 178
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-siusantos.html
Latest Review: Devil in False Colors by Jack Winnick
Reading Device: B01FJT7N4W

Re: Present Tense and Writing Style

Post by siusantos »

This post made me stop and think about the books I've read. And hard as I try, I can't think of one. Is using both present and past tense in a story possible? And is this really a writing style? I have to research on that. But I think it would be too awkward to read and enjoy. I can just imagine myself trying to correct the tenses as I read.
User avatar
Aubrey Lewis
Posts: 196
Joined: 23 May 2017, 02:01
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 363
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aubrey-lewis.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko by Matthew Tysz

Post by Aubrey Lewis »

Mixing tenses is fine as long as the past-tense forms used were referring to past events. I usually don't mind present tense writing styles as long as the book draws me in, but I do agree that it can be quite awkward at times since I'm more used to past-tense styles.
KimberlyS88
Posts: 52
Joined: 01 Jan 2020, 15:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 4
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimberlys88.html
Latest Review: Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery

Post by KimberlyS88 »

I prefer the present tense because it feels like everything is happening now.
Elmaestro
Posts: 89
Joined: 27 Jun 2017, 14:05
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-elmaestro.html
Latest Review: Let’s Mountain Bike! by Paul Molenberg

Post by Elmaestro »

The mixing of tenses is good for me.. It exposes us readers to a unique way of writing styles plus it removes boredom of the book.
Queenyx
Posts: 104
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 08:04
Currently Reading: Guidebook of How to Obtain Pureness of Heart Required to Enter Heaven
Bookshelf Size: 37
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-queenyx.html
Latest Review: The Evolutionite Chronicles Book One: Dagger and Shadow Ninja by Timothy Callahan

Post by Queenyx »

I am not so inclined to the type of tense used while reading a wonderful book. However, if the grammar structure or story line is off, I definitely will notice these types of tenses and judge them critically.
leximutia
Posts: 212
Joined: 04 Mar 2020, 16:39
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-leximutia.html
Latest Review: The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington

Post by leximutia »

While the present tense in the book initially did stick out to me, I became accustomed to it pretty quickly, and it did not interrupt immersion of the story for me. Even the mixing of tenses did not feel awkward. I suppose the majority of readers, including me, are used to past tense in fiction books, but Calix Leigh-Reign incorporated the present tense fairly well.
JohnKasha
Posts: 28
Joined: 07 Apr 2020, 06:40
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-johnkasha.html
Latest Review: Let’s Mountain Bike! by Paul Molenberg

Post by JohnKasha »

Mixing of the tenses was good for me because it helps explain the story in a more engaging way for the reader thus making it enjoyable all through.
User avatar
tjportugal
Posts: 436
Joined: 17 Mar 2020, 15:26
Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings
Currently Reading: The Hobbit
Bookshelf Size: 53
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tjportugal.html
Latest Review: Mister Sleepy by Jane Alice

Post by tjportugal »

AlexisLib wrote: 05 Mar 2020, 16:32 What did you think about the use of the present tense? I know people who won't read books written in the present tense because they just don't like it, they find it jarring. I sometimes find it jarring but have also gotten used to it, having read books written that way a number of times. I actually found this to add to the uncomfortableness of reading the book in the beginning; it kind of poked at me as I experienced what Adam was doing, then I got mostly used to it.

The author also sometimes mixes the present tense with past tense, even in the same sentence. I am a writer and have been in many critique groups and this mixing of tense would be considered a big no no. So I wondered as I read it whether this was intentional or not. It made me wonder (along with some other phrases) if English wasn't the author's first language. Was it intentional and poetic, or sloppy writing?

Excessive use of present tense can be counterproductive and alienate the reader instead of bringing him into the narrative. Code Name: Dodger, Operation Rubber Soul, by Eric Auxier is a fine example of first person narrative and use of verbs in different forms of present and past. Opaque seems fairly ok regarding this element.
To read or not to read? That's not even a question!
TheNeouReader
Posts: 16
Joined: 01 Jul 2019, 21:55
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 2
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-theneoureader.html
Latest Review: Opaque by Calix Leigh-Reign

Post by TheNeouReader »

As long the writing is clear to read and understand, it shouldn't matter if the tenses are mixed. In Opaque, it did get confusing more so in the first half of the book every now and then, with the tense changes. Overall, I wasn't super bothered by it. I was more so confused by the third person narrative because I thought it was singular but veers into omniscient kind of suddenly.
User avatar
AlexisLib
Posts: 195
Joined: 05 Oct 2019, 19:12
Currently Reading: House of Leaves
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alexislib.html
Latest Review: The Girl Behind the Wall--Edgar Allan Poe, the Girl, and the Mysterious Raven Murders by Bruce Wetterau

Post by AlexisLib »

tjportugal wrote: 09 Apr 2020, 08:54 Excessive use of present tense can be counterproductive and alienate the reader instead of bringing him into the narrative. Code Name: Dodger, Operation Rubber Soul, by Eric Auxier is a fine example of first person narrative and use of verbs in different forms of present and past. Opaque seems fairly ok regarding this element.
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a look at it.
User avatar
danielleamy
Posts: 600
Joined: 28 Feb 2019, 10:32
Favorite Book: The Handmaid's Tale
Currently Reading: The calm coach
Bookshelf Size: 96
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-danielleamy.html
Latest Review: Nocturnal by Tim W BYrd
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Post by danielleamy »

I don't mind the present tense, although I haven't come across it very often. It can take some getting used to and it really depends on the author and how well it is executed
All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen - Matilda, Roald Dahl
User avatar
Marty_Kelly
Posts: 207
Joined: 13 Oct 2019, 04:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 45
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-marty-kelly.html
Latest Review: Genetic Spurn - The Reality? by M. R. Coates - Rutgers Univ. GSM

Post by Marty_Kelly »

LinaMueller wrote: 10 Mar 2020, 13:01 It depend on the book and the author. I'm not narrow minded in this respect.
My thoughts too. As long as the narration still flows normal, I'm cool with it.
Just_jay
Posts: 11
Joined: 14 Dec 2019, 00:45
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-just-jay.html
Latest Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Post by Just_jay »

I was also taught English in this manner.However,I believe that it depends on the author.
Standor5865
Posts: 176
Joined: 11 Apr 2020, 14:37
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 58
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-standor5865.html
Latest Review: The Pawn by L.J. Jones

Post by Standor5865 »

I just think that mixing tenses demands that the readers are more focused with their reading so as to fully grasp the story. If anything, I believe it encourages cognitive thinking.
Latest Review: The Pawn by L.J. Jones
User avatar
Joshuaomollo
Posts: 45
Joined: 12 Apr 2020, 08:04
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshuaomollo.html
Latest Review: The Hand Bringer by Christopher J. Penington

Post by Joshuaomollo »

Quite interesting. I'm curious to know how the author went about the present tense issue,I personally don't find its use appalling but hopefully they did okay.
Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign”