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Rubbish to Published: Picking tense and POV – Writing Stream Recap

Last stream we continued our Rubbish to Published series, where we start from absolutely nothing and create something “publishable.”

We did our chapter-by-chapter plotting in the previous stream, so this time we took the next step: picking our tense and POV.

Choosing whether you tell your story in the past or present tense, and whether in the first or third person, is a big decision. A lot of time writers don’t give it the attention it deserves, since choosing the right combination can enhance your story.

We went over the pros and cons of each tense and POV combination, giving examples from real books and stories too. There was a lot of information, but here’s what we came up with:

Click here to see the chart of different tense and POV combinations.

After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each, we then had chat vote for which tense and POV we’d write our book in. It was a pretty clear cut victor for third person limited past tense, the most common one in books. While it’s less of a parody of YA literature (due to far more YA books being written in first person than there should be), it will allow for more jokes that go over our protagonist’s head.

And finally, next time, we actually start writing the book. I can’t believe we’ve done so much before even writing the first sentence, but I’m glad that we did. And if you’re having trouble getting the first sentence, paragraph, or page of your own book done, then maybe taking a look through this series can help you get the juices flowing.

After that we moved on to today’s prompt, and chat voted for this one submitted by Maximum_Pootis: “You are an ancient evil sealed away within a vault filled with treasure that can only be opened by solving a puzzle that removes the magic seal, allowing you to reign free. You watch in horror as a couple of modern treasure hunters drill through the door and bypass the puzzle completely.”

This was a tough one. It was much more constrained than our usual prompt, and it seemed like it was going to be hard to make interesting.

But! We never back down from a challenge, and thanks to some good brainstorming and excellent chat suggestions, I really like where we ended up.

You can read our story here.

If you want to join us and help write a story by trolling in chat, or share your own writing for feedback, then we’d love to have you. We stream on Twitch every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7:30pm-9:30pm (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

And you missed the stream, you can still watch Rubbish to Published or the writing prompts on YouTube, or watch the full stream reruns until Twitch deletes them.

Hope to see you next time, friend!

Scott Wilson is the author of the novel Metl, forthcoming November 2018.

Featured image: Pakutaso

Published inLivestream