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Which of these sentences is correct?

It was while recovering from the disease that he wrote his first novel.

It is while recovering that he writes his first novel.

It was while recovering that he writes his first novel.

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It was while recovering from the disease that he wrote his first novel.

true if it happend in the past

It is while recovering that he writes his first novel.

true if he's currently recovering

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Sentences # 1 and 2 are both fine. Sometimes people write biographical information in the present tense. Just make sure this sentence is consistent with the rest of your sentences in that section.

Sentence #3 doesn't work because the tenses aren't consistent.

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