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Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

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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rtodd5011
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Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Postby rtodd5011 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:46 pm

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?

Thanks,
Richard
Last edited by rtodd5011 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
God Bless,
Rtodd (Rich)

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glorybee
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Re: Second Tense

Postby glorybee » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:04 am

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:

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=33355

I wrote a post on choosing the best tense for your challenge entry here:

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=33355

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

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rtodd5011
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Re: Second Tense

Postby rtodd5011 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:46 am

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.

Richard
God Bless,
Rtodd (Rich)

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Re: Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Postby amilli » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:02 am

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.
Amelia

My writing is a passion, not a hobby!

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Re: Second Tense (Writing in Second Person)

Postby swfdoc1 » Tue May 13, 2014 8:23 pm

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).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo62S0ulqhA

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).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo
Steve
nlf.net
________
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien


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