While researching and writing “Central Outbreak Response: Genesis“, I read a lot of other authors in the genre. I mean a lot. There were good ones, there were bad ones. I listed some of the better ones in the “From the Author” section of my own book, in case readers would like to see some of the writers whose work I enjoyed. But one thing that many, both good and bad had in common now irritates the living dead right out of me:
Now, it has its place. My short story “Personal Hell” is in first-person. It wouldn’t work otherwise. But it’s being overused and is losing its punch.
Damn it, it’s not edgy. It’s old. It’s getting downright annoying. Now I read a sample, and even if it’s well-written and comes strongly recommended, I can’t be bothered if it’s in first-person perspective. I have to move on to the next one, and odds are that if it’s zombie-related, then it too, is in first-person perspective. It’s gotten so bad that good old-fashioned, boring third-person perspective, past-tense like COR: Genesis is unique.
Others are experimenting with present-tense techniques. Most fail. I find it irritating as well, but in some cases, it at least makes sense. It reads like someone is describing a comic book panel, so if it’s from a series based on a comic book (*COUGH!WalkingDead!*COUGH!*) they can get away with it stylistically even if it rankles me personally.
Of course, any of those are better than the writers who switch between past and present tense, sometimes in the same paragraph. I’m surprised they haven’t tried writing in future tense, just to be creepy.