Writing Fiction in Present Tense

Most fiction authors write in the past tense. They inform readers what occurred. This is as if the author states, “I see the occasions in my mind, and I’m discussing what I saw.” Few imaginary books are written in present tense.

One factor for this is that writing in present tense offers major difficulties to the author: preserving viewpoint, presenting past occasions, and filtering the stream of awareness.

Listed below, we go over these obstacles and supply an example of present-tense writing succeeding.

Keeping Perspective

Well-written scenes have just one viewpoint. As readers, our focus is on one character, and the scene is explained through that character’s experiences. Normally, the focus will be on the lead character. We view the scene through that character. Nevertheless, that scene can be explained once again from another character’s experience. This is possible because the scene is written in the past tense.

When writing in past tense, the occasions have an immediacy that makes this hard. We checked out what is taking place at the minute, not about what currently occurred. This restricts the author’s capability to show occasions from several viewpoints because when the viewpoint shifts, that means the occasions are current. When the viewpoint changes, the author needs to continue showing what is currently taking place. The author keeps the readers in the “now.” This can be an effective tool for keeping the reader as a part of the story, but it is challenging to achieve.

Presenting Prior Events

Occasions do happen prior to the existing experience, and explaining them in a present-tense story needs a shift to the past tense. Nevertheless, the author might need to write these occasions to assist the reader understand current experience or to offer the inspiration for a character’s actions and ideas. This is challenging to achieve. The author needs to make these time shifts efficiently, without losing the present-tense point of view and without making the reader marvel when the occasion is happening. The author needs to separate present and past tense without harming the readers’ engagement in present tense occasions.

Filtering the Stream of Consciousness

The human brain always believes, which means that the character on whom we are focused is having many ideas. Some might be redundant, some might be modifications of past ideas, and some might be off subject totally. Some will be new and pertinent to the experience the character is having.

Character Awareness

The obstacle to the author is recognizing the ideas that matter and required to the story without developing spaces in the character’s awareness. Moving in between a description of ideas to description of exercises will help, but just like presenting past occasions, this can be hard. While we read the character’s ideas and sensations in present tense, other actions and occasions are happening. Hence, when the author “leaves the character’s mind” and go back to the “real life,” he cannot return to explain what has occurred in the meantime. So the 2nd part of this difficulty is to make sure that the reader does not miss out on crucial occasions.

Sci-fi might not be your favored category, but this book genre deserves a look if you mean to write in present tense and is uncertain about ways to do it well. Find one in a book shop, settle in a chair, and check out the first few chapters, at least.