Subject: Framing devices

Ven vendersleighc at
Sat Apr 5 19:27:34 EST 2003

Philip wrote

> Does anyone else find present tense narratives 
for novels harder to read?

and Charles replied

<Yes, generally. Rather like reading a novel 
that's printed entirely in
italics - you can get used to it, of course, but 
if you stop noticing what's
the point of doing it in the first place? 
Personally I try to use it for
purely local effects, and then sparingly.>

In my own fiction writing I sometimes find myself
slipping in and out of the present tense without
noticing*. It usually happens when I'm putting in
a lot of sensory information or in action scenes,
when I've thought myself into the middle
ofthings. It's the devil to put right without a
complete rewrite as it will persist in sounding
right to me.

 I originally wrote "slipping in and out of the
present", an even more disconcerting phenomenon.

ObBrust, sorry wrong list, but anyhow, Brust does
very good framing devices.  


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