History Main / PresentTenseNarrative

27th Mar '17 3:38:57 AM Tightwire
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Stories which use the present tense sometimes take the form of a journal or ApocalypticLog, but when not, and written entirely in FirstPersonNarrative, a Present Tense story can feel whiplash fast, with the sometimes jarring feeling of the reader being right there, seeing through the main character's eyes and thinking their thoughts. It also leaves the reader with the question of whether the narrating character will even survive, whereas if the story was implied to be the recollections of the character [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis written after the fact]], we could reasonably assume [[DidYouDie they did]].

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Stories which use the present tense sometimes take the form of a journal or ApocalypticLog, but when not, and written entirely in FirstPersonNarrative, a Present Tense story can feel whiplash fast, with the sometimes jarring feeling of the reader being right there, seeing through the main character's eyes and thinking knowing their thoughts.thoughts and opinions. It also leaves the reader with the question of whether the narrating character will even survive, whereas if the story was implied to be the recollections of the character [[IShouldWriteABookAboutThis written after the fact]], we could reasonably assume [[DidYouDie they did]].


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However, Third Person Narrative can also be written in the Present Tense; the story is still fast but the reader gets the sensation of being right there, ''following'' the characters in their adventure. Done badly it evokes frustration and a sense of helplessness, done well the reader cares deeply and fears for the character's lives.
20th Nov '16 7:24:24 AM Morgenthaler
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* The second half of ''The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas'' by UrsulaKLeGuin.
* Parts of ''TheTomorrowSeries'' are written in the present tense; the whole thing is Ellie's diary of what's happened, which she's writing in big chunks at a time, so most of the action is past tense but a lot of the reflective passages describe what's going on amongst the group in the present tense.

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* The second half of ''The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas'' by UrsulaKLeGuin.
Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin.
* Parts of ''TheTomorrowSeries'' ''Literature/TheTomorrowSeries'' are written in the present tense; the whole thing is Ellie's diary of what's happened, which she's writing in big chunks at a time, so most of the action is past tense but a lot of the reflective passages describe what's going on amongst the group in the present tense.
19th Oct '16 3:02:13 AM Morgenthaler
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* Creator/GeneWolfe frequently uses this technique, often requiring the reader to piece together the real story from fragments of a journal. In the Literature/BookOfTheShortSun, the narrator switches between present and past tense depending on whether he is describing his past adventures, or the ones occurring as he is writing. Even the BookOfTheNewSun, which is almost entirely written in the past tense, pauses occasionally to describe what is occurring as the narrator is writing.

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* Creator/GeneWolfe frequently uses this technique, often requiring the reader to piece together the real story from fragments of a journal. In the Literature/BookOfTheShortSun, ''Literature/BookOfTheShortSun'', the narrator switches between present and past tense depending on whether he is describing his past adventures, or the ones occurring as he is writing. Even the BookOfTheNewSun, ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'', which is almost entirely written in the past tense, pauses occasionally to describe what is occurring as the narrator is writing.
26th Jun '16 5:01:18 PM CaptainCrawdad
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* ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'': Some chapters are written in present tense, but others are written in past tense.
22nd Sep '15 4:05:25 AM gallium
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* ''Literature/AllTheLightWeCannotSee'', a novel that follows a French and a German teenager through UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, is told in present tense, even when the story skips backwards ten years after the first chapter.
4th Sep '15 11:37:46 AM TakeV
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* Literature/HyperionCantos, in particular The Fall of Hyperion, uses this during John's dreams of the pilgrims.
26th Aug '15 9:44:37 AM Korodzik
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* Some of the work by [[Website/ThingsOfInterest Sam Hughes]], including ''Literature/FineStructure'' and ''Literature/{{Ra}}''.
20th Aug '15 2:36:40 AM Morgenthaler
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* Creator/GeneWolfe frequently uses this technique, often requiring the reader to piece together the real story from fragments of a journal. In the BookOfTheShortSun, the narrator switches between present and past tense depending on whether he is describing his past adventures, or the ones occurring as he is writing. Even the BookOfTheNewSun, which is almost entirely written in the past tense, pauses occasionally to describe what is occurring as the narrator is writing.

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* Creator/GeneWolfe frequently uses this technique, often requiring the reader to piece together the real story from fragments of a journal. In the BookOfTheShortSun, Literature/BookOfTheShortSun, the narrator switches between present and past tense depending on whether he is describing his past adventures, or the ones occurring as he is writing. Even the BookOfTheNewSun, which is almost entirely written in the past tense, pauses occasionally to describe what is occurring as the narrator is writing.
9th Aug '15 4:52:40 PM eroock
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The present tense tends to give a work a sense of urgency and immediacy, and as such is often used to increase tension in the story. The narration may switch from past to present- with or without explanation- to fulfil this end.

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The present tense tends to give a work a sense of urgency and immediacy, and as such is often used to increase tension in the story. The narration may switch from past to present- present -- with or without explanation- explanation -- to fulfil this end.
20th Jul '15 11:28:59 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''AllQuietOnTheWesternFront'' is written entirely in present tense first person, with the exception of the very last lines.

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* ''AllQuietOnTheWesternFront'' ''Literature/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront'' is written entirely in present tense first person, with the exception of the very last lines.
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