Friday, April 20, 2012

Personality and POV

I was just thinking that snarky observations from a first person POV are easier to pull off when the writing is in present tense.

It's on my brain because I just caught myself attempting a little more snark than usual from my protagonist and I accidentally wrote it in present tense. Highly scientific, I know.

But it did make me think about the books (especially YA or the Buffy descendents in adult Urban Fantasy) with a snarkier more sarcastic voice and the fact that they are often in present tense.

It's almost like the narrator gets a pass for making a funny but possibly unfair observation "in the moment" in present tense. There's this unspoken contract with the reader that says, I'm reading essentially stream of consciousness that's unedited by the protagonist. But in past tense, even when it's still first person, I feel like there's an expectation for at least a little bit of reflection on the part of the narrator even when its not clear when the narrator is telling us this.

(Unlike in, say, The Odyssey, where for a big chunk of it we know that Odysseus is recounting his past adventures.)

This is all so much brain mush oozing out of me while I try to do just about anything but finish my novel. Even so, anyone else have thoughts on this??

1 comment:

  1. It probably sounds more natural in present tense, but I think writers can get away with first person past tense snark, as well.

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