March 24, 2010 | By: Tracy

Tense Makes Me Tense

Before I get started on this post, I have to be upfront about something.

I'm boy crazy. Not like a little, but a lot. And when said boys are pretty to look at, I get even crazier.

So when agent, Kristin Nelson, did a post on her blog (Pub Rants) a couple weeks ago showcasing a book trailer for her client, Simone Elkeles, I watched the video.

Besides being an excellent book trailer, I got all kinds of squirmy over the guy who plays the part of Alex in the video (Coincidentally: his real name is Alexander Rodriguez. How disappointed was I when I tried to Google Image him & wound up with nothing but pictures of the Yankees third baseman? *smacks forehead* I'm a huge baseball fan, how did I not see that one coming?)  

Anyhow, Alex Fuentes is the name of the male MC in the first book of the trilogy.  It's been selling like hot cakes, so there has to be something drawing in the YA crowd ... and odds are, if the general YA crowd likes it, I will too. (Hello, Twilight). So I picked up the book on my most recent trek to B&N.

I've only had time to read the first 80 pages so far, but it's definitely got me snagged already. Okay, now on to the point of this entry:

 Perfect Chemistry is written in first person, present tense. As a reader, I usually loathe present tense. It's so hard for most writers to write it well, which Simone does (Philippa Gregory did The Boleyn Inheritence, really well too). But no matter what, when you initially start reading a story written in present tense, it's jarring at first.

I also learned a valuable lesson -- be careful what you read when you are working on your own writing! Between reading Perfect Chemistry and working on my query pitch, I found a couple of instances where present tense slipped itself into the chapter re-write work I did over the weekend. Oops! As if I don't already have enough stuff to worry about with the darn thing.

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