The rumors proved true, and it turns out that there is not another Harley Stroh struggling to make a career writing shared world fiction. Due to some clerical error, I made the Round 1 cut in the World of Darkness fiction contest. Chapter 1 is due June 30th.
As per the suggestions laid out in the WWECD? Guide to Success in Shared World Publishing,
I’ve been reading all the World of Darkness material I can get my grubby hands on. Presently I’m reading A Hunger Like Fire
, by Greg Stolze, the first novel in the new WoD line. This is the flagship book, against which all others will be measured and judged.
A guess what?
It was written in present tense.
Like a lot of other fledgling writers, I’ve always harbored a guilty affection for ol’ PT. I’m sure you're familiar with all the arguments for and against its use. I won’t list them here, but if you have any thoughts of your own, I welcome them.
In my own experience as a reader, the question is largely moot. By the time you get to page 50, your brain has adapted, and the prose no longer seems any more “immediate” nor “awkward,”* which raises another question: if the reader’s brain is going to adapt anyway, why bother using it?
But, thankfully, better minds than mine will sort this out. I’ve been given the freedom, for better or for worse, to write a novel (or, at least the first chapter of a novel) in present tense.
*Immediate and awkward. Sounds like my sort of gig. ;)