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Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:46 pm
by rtodd5011
Dear Jan, Is it acceptable to write a piece in second tense for the writing competition? I have had difficulties with tenses in the past and wanted to know if you had a lesson on tenses or could possibly a link where I could brush up on my tenses?


Re: Second Tense

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:04 am
by glorybee
Richard, I'm not sure what you mean by "second tense," as that's not a grammatical term I've ever heard of. I wonder if you mean "second person."

If so, it would be very unusual to have a second person entry, where the POV character is "you." A second person POV would be something like this:

You wonder where you left your car keys, and you look in all the places where they usually hide. They aren't in any of the places you look, so you decide to walk to the store...

That would make for an unusual entry, and you'd have to have a very compelling reason to write that way. In my many years here at FaithWriters, I only remember one or two entries written in second person.

However, I suspect that maybe you mean "present tense." Much of contemporary literary fiction is written in present tense. Here's an example of an old challenge entry of mine using that tense: ... p?id=33355

I wrote a post on choosing the best tense for your challenge entry here: ... p?id=33355

I hope this answer helped! If I misunderstood your question, please let me know and I'll try again.

Re: Second Tense

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:46 am
by rtodd5011
Hi Jan, I apologize for that. I meant to say second person. I am wondering if a person could use it in a devotional style writing would it sound awkward?

Also both links go to the entry from the writing challenge.


Re: Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:02 am
by amilli
Jan, I just had to stop by & say beautiful story.... it reminded me why I write. It's unique, delivers a strong message, and brake the rules ("Jesuslovesyou".... "Worst. Witness. Ever."... among others) It's the little things like these that makes a story stands out.

Even though not intended for me, thanks for sharing.

Re: Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:23 pm
by swfdoc1
Here's a link for a TED talk by Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield. Even though this is a talk, not a written piece, I thought it was interested how much of the talk is in second person, present tense (but with notable inconsistencies).

By the way, if you've never seen his Space Oddity video that he recorded aboard the International Space Station, today is the last day to see it (David Bowie gave him a one year license).