Verb Tense Whiplash: A Random wRiting Rant

Past-Present-Future-neon-sigWith lots of reading comes lots of rants, I guess.  So, another rant thanks to my current reads. 

If you’re interested in what I’m reading, check out my Goodreads widget to the right.

Anyway, I am currently reading a really sweet New Adult romance book (once again, author and title shall remain unnamed).  I love, love, love the story so far.  The plotting and characterization are brilliant and beautiful.

The whiplash I’m getting from flipping back and forth between past and present tense is not pretty, however.

Let me clarify, this is not due to flashbacks or any such thing.  The author flips from present to past to present tense in the same sentence.  This is another self-published read.  I know self-pubbed editing budgets are often limited but this is a glaring mistake.  And it doesn’t happen occassionally, it happens constantly. 

Here’s an example of what the past, present whiplash is like (not an actual example from the book):

I walk into the room and tripped on the edge of the carpet, falling onto my face and crushed my nose.

OMG, it’s painful and hard to read.  I love this book so I will read on, but seriously, self-publishing authors, please, please, please offer your grammar nazi friend a case of beer or something to read through and red-ink your manuscript.  These are big, glaring mistakes, not like a random missed comma or the rare typo.  This can kill your chances of a reader finishing your book or ever reading another one of your books.

Cheers and kisses,

Heather