“Past Tense or Present Tense? Which One Tells a Better Story” by Amanda Patterson | 29th March, 2016 | Writers Write
“Different tenses suit different stories, certain genres, and various authors’ styles. The tense you choose should also suit the personality of your main viewpoint character.
The Past And The Present
The past tells us what happened: I ached. She loved. You needed.
The present shows us what is happening: I ache. She loves. You need.
The past gives us some distance:
The boy looked up. The girl with the butterfly tattoo on her wrist twisted on the lawn and smiled at him. Her hair spread out like spilt milk on the grass. He knew he loved her and he did not care if she knew. He wanted to carve her name into the clear sky that framed the edges of the park.
The present is immediate:
The boy looks up. The girl with the butterfly tattoo on her wrist twists on the sun splattered lawn and smiles at him. Her hair spreads out like spilt milk on the grass. He’s lost and he knows she knows, but he doesn’t care. He wants to carve her name into the clear sky that frames the edges of the park.”
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