Giving Present Tense a Test Flight

I knew March would be madness with Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse and The Hunger Games – stories with great female heroines like Jaina, Tahiri, and Katniss. In the meantime I’ve been writing away on Wynde, working with my heroine in that book and playing with some storytelling ideas to help draw the reader into Vespa’s story. While from the outset I’d definitely settled on using third-person-limited POV narrative, there was something about the immediacy of present tense in The Hunger Games that kept drawing me back to its utility. I’ve seen other authors use it selectively with some success, and when it’s done well the reader should just be experiencing the story and won’t notice the shift in tense. That’s the theory, anyway.

As I kept writing, I decided I had a couple of specific scenes that would benefit from the shift.  One of those scenes is at the end of Part One, as Vespa faces an impossible choice. I won’t share the whole scene – that might give away too much of the story – but I thought I’d share the beginning of the chapter. Thoughts or feedback on how the present tense works for you as a reader is appreciated.