Writing a novel  in the present tense

Writing a novel in the present tense

Here’s an esoteric clip. Edmund Hurst is a novelist doing a PhD at Hull; Sarah Walton is a novelist who wrote RUFIUS as part of a PhD. And so to the question – what are the challenges of writing a novel in the present tense? With three first person voices?
Hear Sarah’s answers here.

From Sarah’s launch of her novel RUFIUS at the Philip Larkin Centre, University of Hull, 3 Feb 2016

magic obviously seen from some of its you've been reading and from what you mentioned it's written in the present tense and not just in the present tense but the present tense from three separate characters mostly that's hugely ambitious stuff action to take I was wondering why why from that perspective and what how sort of that those three different characters aided your construction of this novel and how that tense played into it more than more so than the past tense of job so you'd find it a lot more yeah it's I guess it's easier to write the past in the past tense but it started off in the past tense there were quite a few chapters in the past tense I went back and rewrote them and tried it out in the present tense and that seemed to work for this novel and I wanted I mean it's an action book it's fast paced and I wanted it to feel immediate the other thing that the past tense enabled me to do is to transport the reader into ancient Rome so and feel as if they are there I mean obviously you can do that at the past tense too and many writers do very very well but for this novel I wanted it to feel like not modern but that you could really identify with the voices and there's a few were there and you get that immediacy with the present tense there's problems and that come along with the present tense but the benefits if you get it right so that you really feel like you're there and in the middle of the action

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