Wednesday, 7 October 2015

IWSG: POV and Tense

Developed by author and blogger Alex Cavanaugh, IWSG is a bloghop for writers by writers. To find out more about the IWSG monthly bloghop or the IWSG website, click the links. 
Thank you Alex and the co-hosts this month for another great hop!


After 6 months running a B&B, our season is finally closed until next year. Let me tell you how F-ing happy I was to see the last of our clients leave at the end of September. Not to complain, too much… but running a B&B was so much work that by the end, I was physically and mentally exhausted. Spent. There were however,  a few interestings aspects about the B&B that I’d love to talk to you about, but this is IWSG and now that I’m back, I’ve hit the ground running and writing--the only way to hit the ground in my opinion. So let’s get on with it!

My insecurities this month are two fold. The first, stems from being out of touch with all you guys and the writing blogosphere. In short, I have no clue what's going on anymore. If you came out with a book or book cover this summer, I missed it. If there were bloghops, I missed them. If you had any kind of awesome sauce news to share, I’m so sorry, but yeah, I missed that too. That’s what sucks when you’re gone for a few months. But, I’m hoping to elbow my way back into the asylum if there’s still room. Is my bunk bed still available? ;)

The other thing that’s been making me bite my fingers is an anthology. Recently, I was asked to contribute to an anthology that’s due to come out sometime in the beginning of next year. The theme is turning points. I’m not going to talk much about the details because I’m not sure it’s time, but that’s not the problem. Here’s what’s giving me a hard time. 

POV and tense. 

From the beginning, I’ve been struggling on what POV to use and for some reason, I started writing in third person present tense which isn’t common in fiction writing. Plus, I rarely write presence tense, it’s not easy to pull off, and I suck at it. I’m much more mainstream with my narrative and usually write in first person or third person past tense. Anyway, I’m worried that I’m heading out into deep waters, writing in a tense I don’t have much experience in, and of course worried I’m going to muck it all up. The thing is, the more I read my story, the more I like it. Usually, when I start a new project I’m all super excited about it and love it to death, that is until I get to the editing and rewriting phase, to which I start doubting myself and then I end up hating everything I’ve written. Sound familiar? Well with this project, I started with a slow burn, a glimmer of an idea and slowly started writing. I’m still uncertain where to take it, but the more I keep going, the more I like it. I’m having a hard time remembering when I’ve ever felt like this over a writing project. So as you can see, my first week back and I already have a bunch of stuff to figure out.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a fun and productive summer. Enjoy the bloghop, I know I sure will and I can’t wait to see what you all are writing about. And, if you all have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you! 


  1. I know what anthology you are writing for!
    Hey, that's how I start all of my projects. I don't like them much until I get further into it. Take it as a good sign.
    And welcome back! We kept your bunk bed open for you.

  2. Welcome bcd to the asylum! :)

    Good luck with the anthology entry! I write in third person present tense a lot - whether I should or shouldn't is another story. :) I would let the story direct you - ask how does this story want to be told?

  3. Welcome back. We're still just as nutty.

    I still struggle with tense. If present tense is working, then press on.

  4. The more you get into it the more it will shine, I go without whatever tense I feel like writing.

  5. It's great that you like what you wrote. If you get suck on tense, or start to question your writing, read books written in the same tense as you're writing. That often helps me get into the right flow.

  6. Go into strange waters, the unfamiliar currents will make you grow to levels you would never reach any other way. But if you were asked to contribute to an anthology, you might want to use a tense that you feel confident you will be able to deliver your best work. Experiment on a private short story until you feel confident in the tense. Best of luck. I missed you. :-)

  7. Glad to see you back. B&B seems like it would be a ton of work with really long days. Hope you get your tenses figured out.

    Susan Says

  8. Been there. I say, go with the new tense. If you hate it, changing is not a hard thing. See where it takes you. See what readers think of it. You never know. You might LOVE this experience.

    So hey, I had a baby in March. Were you around for that? I missed a ton of happenings after that too.

  9. I can barely manage a family home. I can't imagine doing a B&B. Hope you enjoy your break. You need one.

  10. Can't imagine running a B&B. Just exhausted thinking about it. I have to admit, present tense throws me a bit. I'm fine reading it, but not writing.

  11. Running a B&B sounds like such exhausting work! I'm glad you're back of course. :) There's still plenty of room. Good luck figuring out your tense stuff. I think there's more third person present out there these days, so you should be able to find other stories to read if you need to see it first hand. It sounds fun to write in to me.

  12. If your gut told you to write that way, you owe it to your intestine to ferret it out. If it doesn't work in the end, you can change it.

  13. I've never worked in a B&B, but I worked in a hotel as a teenager . . . and there wasn't much in the way of "big, bad world" stuff that I didn't learn at the time. I'm hoping that your B&B experience was better than that.
    But, I'm really glad that you're back to writing! POV is tough, and although I think have the whole verb tense thing figured out, it often comes and bites me. I've discovered that I shift tenses when I'm using dialogue (because all dialogue is present tense, not matter what the rest of the story is in), and after I use any kind of participial phrase sentence starter (I learn these fancy sentence names because I teach them to high school kids - otherwise I wouldn't know them at all).
    Best of wishes with those tenses and Happy Writing!!!

  14. Running a B&B sounds intense!
    I'm glad to hear that you're feeling good about a new project! I wouldn't worry about the tense. If it feels right, do it! I've been writing in present tense for almost 4 years. I did come easier for me as I've always had tense problems. But most of those projects were indeed in 3rd person. Out of everyone who's read bits of those works, I've had only one person tell me the tense was weird. Honestly. I have a book that I love, traditionally published book, that's told in split 1st and 3rd present tense, and it is awesome! She's has celebrity status on Twitter. :P

    So definitely don't worry about it if it feels right for the story. ^_^

  15. Hi Elise - you'll have loads of stories arising out of the B&B ... but write the story - and then if necessary just change the tense - is it that easy? I hope so .. otherwise the idea will drag you down into the quagmire! Do your thing ... and it'll be fun seeing you around again - thanks for the look in .. cheers Hilary

  16. And here I thought we'd have a writers convention at your B&B *kidding, don't smack me*! I saved ya some wine:) I'm with ya on the new narrative territory. My WIP is toying with present tense, third-person universal omniscient POV. What's the worst that could happen? We end up on the news for breaking into a liquor store and drowning our sorrows in the rum aisle. Cheers to channeling our inner masochist!

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

  17. I worked as a receptionist in hotels for a few years back in my late teens/early twenties. A brutal business. It was not one of better talents - yes, I can cook, yes, I can clean and yes, I have a good way with people BUT, I was always late! I couldn't get out of bed with the birds back then. I swiftly changed my life's journey. Nevertheless if I could turn back the clock, I would still do the same as it was a character building experience.

    Glad you can now rest and concentrate on your WIP. Good luck with that! Just enjoy experimenting and if it doesn't work out, like Southpaw states, change it. The key is to have fun.

  18. So glad you're writing again! And glad you can take a break from the B&B business. Can't say I've had much news this summer, and you're always welcome back in the asylum!

  19. Welcome back to the Nut House!
    Just go with the present tense and see where it takes you. Let your gut lead the way.

  20. Hey Elise,

    "POV"! Argghhhhh!!! acronym alert! :) Anyhow, delighted to see you've submitted an IWSG aka "I Was Seeking Gary." You are way too kind to me. Thank you.

    I can imagine what a relief it is to now take some time off from your "French Fawlty Towers." Seriously, hard work, for sure. Mon dieu and more escargot!

    I wouldn't get tense over the tense you use, Elise. If you like what you're doing, then what the hell.

    Nice to see you and happy writing.

    Gary :)

  21. All the best with the anthology! Struggling with one aspect or other is something we all do.

  22. Running a B&B has always sounded like a lot of work to me. I hope you made buckets of money.

  23. Hey Elise-abeth, we missed you, too :)

    Seriously, you soooo need to share B&B stories... (there's a BOOK there... I'm telling you :)

    Don't worry about tenses and stuff - yet - write from the heart and let it all go... :)

    If it's meant to be, it will be :)

  24. Your bunk is alway available, :-) I hear you on being out of the loop and missing so many things. Me, too.

    POV and tenses get me at times. 3rd person present--I can see how that would bite you. But it will also make you grow. It's funny how stories and characters want to be written. Hang in there!

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  25. I know exactly how you feel lol. I've written a novella and the end is just a major record scratch but hey practise makes perfect. In fact my whole sci fi epic is a complete disaster, ROFLOL

  26. I would try to NOT think about it too much, because, sometimes that's what we do to procrastinate. Sounds like you really like what you're doing so I'd stick with it!

  27. POVs don't get me as much as tenses. I suck at it, big time. I just keep telling myself that's why I have an editor. I also have to give myself "permission" to just go with it...get it out, worry about the other stuff later. The more I remind myself of this (which is often) the easier the process, which makes it fun:)
    BTW, never really thought about how much work goes into running a B&B!


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