Halrloprillalar (prillalar) wrote,


When you're writing a story, how do you choose the tense to use? Do you always write in past tense or present tense or do you switch between stories?

I've found that when I'm writing a story that's got a modicum of plot, I usually go for past tense. But if I'm writing porn, it usually wants to be in present tense. (And when I say "wants", I mean, I write it automatically and it's a struggle to change it.) As well, stories that are more general in their action, describing things that take place regularly, tend to go into present tense. For example:

Harry always watches Draco in the corridors.


Harry knocked Draco's books to the floor.

What do you do? Have you ever tried anything experimental with tense? Does reading present tense drive you crazy? Sometimes I force my fic into past tense because I know a lot of people don't care for present.

I find that present tense makes me feel more immediately involved with the story. But often that doesn't really work with longer stories. With porn, I like it a lot.

The present tense/first person combo doesn't often work for me all that well. I'm not entirely sure why -- maybe most people don't develop enough of an individual voice for their POV character when they use first person and it makes the present/first combo sound affected to me.

What about you?

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