I really learned a lot from writing and revising my first YA novel. Therefore I’m trying really hard not to make the same mistakes I made before…yeah, I want to make new mistakes. Well mistakes are inevitable but I am trying to avoid too many of the same pitfalls.
One of these pitfalls has to do with listening to your gut. My new WIP has a first person teenage boy as the narrator. When I started writing I heard his voice very clearly and brightly in the present tense. This seemed like a weird way to write, but when I reread what I wrote, it worked. When I stepped away from the project and came back to it I started writing in the past tense. But when I did a side by side comparison I found that the writing in the present tense was definitely stronger. So I’ve continued with that, trying to avoid the voice in my head that says “You can’t write a novel in the present tense. It’s too weird.”
Last night I made the mistake of googling “writing in the present tense” and reading all these people’s comments about how weird it is and what a turn off to the reader. The one who stuck in my mind was the woman who compared reading something written in the present tense to being continually tapped on the head with a teaspoon. Ugh. I don’t want that.
I’m sticking with it for now and hoping I don’t regret the decision later. Gut, you better be right! 🙂