Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Questions from Readers

Let’s consider the advantages of writing in the past tense.

1. It’s the most natural tense and one we’ve known as long as we’ve been reading.

2. Because it’s a more traditional way of writing, you’re likely to please more readers.

3. Past tense can make you feel more in control of situations as they are already resolved.

4. It’s easier to handle flashbacks and especially backstory by flipping into past perfect tense.

5. More suspense is created when we know there must be a future to the story (because it’s being told in the future looking backward). The narrator can hint of what lies ahead. In the old gothics, a common device was to say, “If only I had known what was behind the door, I wouldn’t have stepped forward.”

6. Characterization is easier and possibly deeper when you can work from then and now.

7. Past tense sets the action in the wider context of past and future and allows you to provide greater drama and understanding of your characters.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What are your thoughts?