Log in

No account? Create an account
07 May 2011 @ 04:32 pm
You will.  

Say you have a story that, for reasons unknown to you, really wants to be written in the second person, which is weird enough on its own. I really kind of want to put it in the future-tense, like, You will meet him on a Thursday instead of You meet him on a Thursday, but I'm not sure if that makes it extra really super weird. Will I get sixteen pages into the story and get really sick of writing the word will, or start to wonder how I'm so clairvoyant and know all this stuff that hasn't happened yet?

In this case, I think the temptation for future-tense is that I'm writing RPF about events that haven't happened yet in the real world (and probably the draw of 2nd person is because I don't have to use names and thus avoid the RPF-eek factor for myself). But I'm curious in general and want companionship in this thought process.

Talk to me about your adventures with weird tenses and points of view and whatever!
(Deleted comment)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on May 7th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
I really love it too!! I get all excited when I see someone use it. It can come off very choose-your-own-adventure, which is a little unsatisfying, but when it's a bit ... threatening, like you say. Creepy? Ominous? I'm not sure! It can work really well. anr has done it a few times to great effect.

I think I'm going to try and mix the two - have it based in present tense, but have a lot of You know you will ___ to give that sense of predetermination or something. IDK!

Icepixie: [BSG] Laura Roslin will end youicepixie on May 7th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Don't do it. Dooooooon't do it. I tried to write something in future tense once (third-person, though), and gave it up after a page because it was way too difficult and felt way too artificial. I felt the writerly equivalent of constipation because of it.

On the other hand, if you WANT to distance yourself from what you're writing (as opposed to distancing your readers, though that may well happen too), then it's the way to go! ;)
Little Redmylittleredgirl on May 7th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Well! I think you've answered my question! I think it would be much more difficult in the third person, actually.

I think the second person on its own can be distancing enough. :) We'll see. I may scrap the whole thing and re-do in my usual third-person present-tense standard-edition-little-red-fic. :)
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on May 8th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
It is difficult but fun! Second/future is hard to maintain, though, and I'd only recommend it for really short things.
(Deleted comment)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
I did it and loved it! :) Well, I went with present tense, but the second person is now my BFF.

I think I loved it too much - I totally can't snap out of it now. So it kind of feels like everything I write is the same fic. This is not a terrible problem to have though. :)
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: Writingjoyfulfeather on May 8th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
I adore second person, so I say go for it!

However, I have no idea about future tense -- I think I'd wind up slipping into a sort of mangled present/future tense if I tried that. (Starting with "You will meet him..." and winding up with things like "He does X. You'll do Y." Which might actually work? But I don't know.)
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, future tense is messy and really requires it to be a short piece. I think it ends up sounding a little bit biblical - thou shalt go forth etc.
I'm not weird, I'm limited edition: spaces between usanuna_81 on May 8th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
reading stories writetn in second person is well... different. It's just different from what I'm used to. If they're written well, I usually love them (and different things I'm not used to? Definitely a good exercise for the brain). But I've never tried writing in second person, that's still a challenge for me to take.

However many things seem weird occasionally, even the phrasing, not just tenses, because this is my second language. On the plus side? I can think in english now, my vocabulary is better than it would have been without fanfic and fandom, it's definitely a plus. (I need to work on typos, tho.)
Little Red: trek - scotty omgwtf - icons_of_isismylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
It AMAZES me that you are able to write so well in English, not to mention converse so easily with us when we're all LA LA LA NETSPEAK THIS AIN'T NO PROPER ENGLISH AND HERE'S A LOLCAT. You know?? I am constantly amazed. :) I wouldn't know at all that English wasn't your first langugage if you never told me. :)
Fallon Ash: sam hmmfallon_ash on May 8th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Lamest advice ever, but I find that fics usually decide POV and tense for themselves, and if you let it write itself however it wants to, that's when the writing feels most "real", as opposed to trying to force a different POV or tense on it. Maybe you will get tired of the word "will" 16 pages in, but you don't know that yet. Deal with it if it happens.

A little while ago I tried this POV-shifting excercise, just for fun, but one of the characters just refused to be written in anything but second person. Every time I relaxed and just let the writing happen I'd see that it had switched back from 1st to 2nd. Same with tenses. This one pairing I've been writing lately for some reason *always* switches back to past tense, even when I try to be good and force it into present.
Little Red: peanuts - what to write?mylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Haha, that's not really lame advice. It's kind of the most perfect advice ever. :) Because yeah... so often as writers it feels like we're at the mercy of our characters' whims.

I am really committed to certain tenses and POVs for different fandoms. It's weird, and I think some of it is because of what I read in the fandom from other people. X-Files is the only fandom where I'll tolerate 1st person POV because it was so common there. Star Trek always wants to be written in the past tense, because I've read so many of the pro novels that are all written that way. And Stargate: Atlantis feels alien if it's in anything except third-person present-tense. There should be science to explain this!
georgie: Glee - Sue - Kittygeorgierae on May 8th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
previous comment fail!
I think I tried to write something in second person once and scared myself about making it work so changed it to third!

My problem is flitting between first and third (you should see the state my NaNo got into back in November which suddenly seems a very long time ago! and I ought to learn from my mistakes, yet I never seem to!
Little Red: ares - marsmylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: previous comment fail!
Wow! Were you trying to write your novel in 1st person but it kept switching over to 3rd because that's what you're used to writing??

I have problems keeping tenses consistent if I'm not careful, because I like to write emotion and thoughts in present tense but action in past tense, but I'm usually pretty good about maintaining POV. There were a few slip-ups in my second person POV fic I wrote, but I think I ironed them all out. ;)

georgie: 10georgierae on May 15th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: previous comment fail!
I started writing it in 3rd, but switched it between the two at least 3 times (no idea why I thought it would be a good idea- I'm sure it set me back a week!). I am used to writing in 3rd, but I used to write in 1st a lot.

I like to write emotion and thoughts in present tense but action in past tense

Same here. I think this might have something to do with my tense/pov confusion with my NaNo (although if it's not, then I have no idea!)


I expect I'll find myself conned into it again this year :D
lavidaessueno on May 8th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I personally hate second person in fiction, because while it makes sense to the writer to talk about "you", it doesn't really work for me as a reader to read "you" and have to constantly remind myself that "you" doesn't really mean "me" here.
Little Redmylittleredgirl on May 8th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
I always feel like it gives me an intense immediacy when I'm reading it (of course, if it's done well). I fell all entwined with the character and so the story is more emotional for me as a reader somehow. *shrugs* I don't think I'm converting to this full-time, but it's been a fun exercise writing in a new POV.
lavidaessueno on May 8th, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
That I can understand! I've used second person as a writer, and the piece that I choose most often when I give readings is in second person, and the audience usually responds really well.
Little Red: peanuts - rejection slips - alivicwilmylittleredgirl on May 12th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
I think third person is kind of the default POV, and someone writing in first or second person has to do so really well for it to feel right. If it's at all awkward, you're suddenly thinking about the POV while you're reading it instead of just enjoying the narrative.

And, bizarrely, since you read stuff on its way to publication, I get the feeling you encounter a lot of sub-par writing. And it's not like you can just hit the back button if it's bad!