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Jan's Master Class--TENSE

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

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grandmalovesbabies
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Postby grandmalovesbabies » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:14 pm

I didn't realize this thread was here. I'm glad I found it yesterday. I read everything everyone had to say. Good stuff! I decided to take what I read and apply it to this week's challenge on "beginning and end." I usually write third person, past tense. Occasionally, I'll attempt first person, past tense. After reading all your "good stuff," I decided to take the plunge and write first person, present tense. It WAS a challenge and I know the story has its flaws, but it was fun trying something I never dreamed of attempting before yesterday. (I haven't submitted it yet, still working up enough nerve to do that.) If I do get the courage to submit it, please red ink it all over the place! I'm willing to learn and to try it again, but know your advice will help me learn the lessons quicker.
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.

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Postby glorybee » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:26 pm

Wonderful--I can't wait to read your experiment! Doesn't it feel good to stretch?
Jan Ackerson

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Postby grandmalovesbabies » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:44 pm

It did until I submitted the story. Augh! Immediate writer's remorse. I have to admit, it was exciting to think creativily outside my comfort zone.
Last edited by grandmalovesbabies on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.

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Postby Kimberly-Russell » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:32 pm

Gma: I can relate. I too read the Tense information with interest as I've always written third person, past tense. I did try and it was VERY hard- think I need to go back and take Jan's class over and over and over...... :P

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Postby CatLin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:04 pm

I've been inspired to stretch many times from Jan's lessons. The best thing about stretching in your writing is that you don't snap back like elastic - you grow (like Silly Putty :D).

And as for remorse - stop that! You accomplished something! You did something new, you learned, and you probably did much better than you think you did. We are our own worst critics.
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"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

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Postby grandmalovesbabies » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:44 pm

Thanks Katrina, I needed that! (P..S. I love your name! It has always been one of my favorite names. My daughter was either going to be Katrina or Christina, Christy for short. I loved Katherine Marshall's book Christy in my younger years so Christy one out.)
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.

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Postby CatLin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:13 pm

glorybee wrote:Can't wait to read it, Catrina! Be sure to come back here when the "all clear" is given, so that we can read your experiment.


I almost forgot! My experiment is in level 4 - - and my hint is on page 2 of the Hinting thread. ;)
http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpB ... 1&start=15

If you hesitate to leave scathing critiques in yellow boxes, feel free to do so here. :lol:
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Postby lthomas » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:59 am

Hey Jan and classmates :D . I tried a 3rd person present tense in my last entry for up and down. You can find it here

Emperor of the Afternoon

And, although I truly liked writing in this manner, it didn't seem to resonate with the judges. Looking back as to the disadvantages in writing in this style I can see why it was not received so well. However, I really liked using this tense as it seemed, to me, to put the reader immediately into the situation at hand...and I did receive some wonderful comments for those who did read it which literally made my day :D

As this is such a challenging style, I personally don't want to give up on it, but learn better how to use it. Thanks for the class, Jan.

Loren
Last edited by lthomas on Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." From "As You Like It." Wm. Shakespeare.

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Postby grandmalovesbabies » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:16 pm

I do have a question I probably should have thought to ask before submitting on this thread. Is this for anyone who wants to particpate or do you have to be at the Masters level to particpate? I didn't even think about that until now.
Last edited by grandmalovesbabies on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.

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Postby glorybee » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Loren, I don't know what makes you say it bombed with the readers--you got some WONDERFUL comments! It's a beautiful, tender piece, and the present tense really adds to the gentle mood.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby lthomas » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:36 pm

:oops: Jan, I edited my original post to make more sense. Thank-you for your understanding, it has been a stressful two week and I'm a little sleep deprived at the moment.

Thank-you, too for the comment on my article. I value and try to learn from all the comments, even those left on other entries. Since I don't have my own PC it is not always easy to participate as I would otherwise.

Loren
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." From "As You Like It." Wm. Shakespeare.

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Postby grandmalovesbabies » Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:02 pm

Thanks, Jan, for critiguing my first person, present tense story. I accidentally put it in Masters. :oops: The title was "Now What Didn't I Do?" (It was about a teenage boy who procrastinated and never finished anything.) Your input was very helpful. Even when I was writing the story, I knew the pace wasn't quite right and it all felt too rushed. I tried rewriting it several times to slow it down but didn't like it so I hit the "undo" button and left it the way I originally wrote it. I knew that it was going to exhaust some of my readers. The third person, past tense would have been much better. Oh well, better luck next time. It does make sense that a first person, present tense story should be ??? (what word did you use?) Was it reflective or introspective? (I can't remember at the moment.) Could you recommend some stories that you've written in first person, present tense that I could read? Or maybe you have a couple favorites from other authors as well? That would be helpful. Again, thanks for your input. It was greatly appreciated.
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.

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Postby glorybee » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:04 pm

Here are a few pieces of mine in first person present tense:

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=17504

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=20601

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=26530

Let me know if you have any questions about them!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby GShuler » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:58 pm

I did the same experiment for the same reason as everyone else! Jan, you have inspired a tense movement on FaithWriters. The hardest tense for me is first person present so that is what I tried with Beginning and End. Please let me know if I stayed consistent... and is it actually first person present tense?
The experiment is:
Lonely
I had something really memorable to write here but I forgot what it was.
Gerald Shuler

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Postby glorybee » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:49 pm

Hiya, Gerald--

Yep, you stayed consistent, and yep, it was first person (LITERALLY! Ha ha at the double meaning) present tense.
Jan Ackerson

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