Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poll, Hannah Baker Speaks, & Sheer AWESOME.

I've been wondering this for a while, and hey, no time like the present to throw this out there:

When writing reviews, do you use past tense or present tense for describing a book? Example: This book is amazing vs this book was amazing. Or, the characters are fluid vs the characters were fluid. I loved it vs I love it.

I'm sure I go back and forth in my reviews. Am afraid to look which is why I can't say for certain. I just don't KNOW what is more acceptable, or if people even care, or if it's just me being weird. Anyone know the standard?

Of course, I'll use this opportunity to also throw in a poll! (I LOVE POLLS.)



Next up on my newsreel... Hannah Baker, the dead main character of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, is speaking! Catch her over on her blog as she reads the tapes she sent the thirteen people on her list. And if you recognize the voice ... well, you should! It's the girl from Juno, Olivia Thirlby.

AND, now, for the writers out there - have you seen Pat Holt's excellent list of ten mistakes writers make? Most of 'em are subtle, which makes the list all the more worthwhile to read. :) I'd never been on her blog before, which surprises me because I'm huge on good writing blogs, but that post assured I'd stay a while. A bit longish for those with short attention spans, but useful all around.

15 comments:

Amee said...

In an academic setting present tense is preferred. When I'm writing informally, though, I don't pay attention. So I said probably both equally. ;)

Alea said...

Oh wow, I came by at a good time, new post!

I saw one of the Thirteen Reasons Why videos, I liked her voice but didn't piece it together that that was Ellen Page, will need to listen again! And read the book, DUH!

Emily said...

I saw the Thirteen Reasons Why videos too! I love Ellen Page's voice on them. It sounds exactly like what I would picture her sounding like.

Zoealea said...

I just watched one of the Thirteen Reasons Why video's, I don't know why, but it doesn't really sound like Ellen Page to me. Jay Asher is such a good writer.

Renay said...

In my degree program, we got it bashed into our heads that present tense was required for discussing literature, because literature is never in the past. It can always be relived, over and over and over. The rule drove me crazy; I switched majors from History to Literature and I failed so many papers before I became used to the switch. Now, I'm not sure. Sometimes, I flaunt past tense in my reviews but most of the time I keep present. :D

Diana Dang said...

I try to do present but there are time where I slip into the past tense.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a reviewer, but school has drilled literary present tense into my head, so when discussing a book, I'd go with that.

Khyrinthia said...

I think I usually do past tense. You'd think I wouldn't since my English teacher forces us to write in present tense and I don't like writing stories in past tense, but alas.

Kimberly Derting said...

The tapes are great...I'll probably spend way too much time listening to them since I loved the book so much! I would have never guessed it was Ellen Page.

Oh, and thanks a lot for the writing mistakes site, now I know everything I do wrong. I may never be able to write again... :)

alexis said...

you're question made me thinkk. i honestly don't know what tense to use... i mean since you read the book before, and you probabably aren't reading it at the time of the review, wouldn't it be past tense? yet, the book still exists, so its not like the characters WERE cool, since they're still there.. hmm. well im sorry, i probably didnt help muchh! nice blog(:

Caroline said...

Ah. I got really excited and had to go listen to those right away- that's one of my favorite books. And it's so awesome that Ellen Page did the voice for them! So amazing. Thanks for pointing me towards this.

As for the tense thing- wow, good question. I'll have to go check that. I have this terrible feeling that I shift tenses, because that is the downfall of every english paper I've ever written.

Amee said...

Why did you remove the "Ode to Nice Publicists"?

Did a mean one complain? I hope you wouldn't censor your blog like that. :|

Jordan said...

So the voice is not ellen page, its Olivia Thirlby, she was in juno.. but she was the best friend lol, leah i think. Almost right though! ;)

do you know why these are being done? is there going to be a movie? or is it like just press for the book?

Steph said...

Thanks for all the input, guys! :) I think I'll just do...I don't know. Gah.

Jordan - oh thanks! I was told it was the girl from Juno and I assumed that was Ellen Page, not Olivia. Edited :)

I think it's just a way to make the books more interactive. As far as I know, there are no plans for a movie in the foreseeable future though I wouldn't be surprised if the rights had sold to some studio for option. I'll post about it if/when I hear anything! :)

Jordan said...

your quite welcome! And thank you! I was really wondering, i hope they make it into a movie that would be awesome!! I am buying the book imeditly!! :)

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