Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


The Tense World of Writing Tense

Should I write my story in present or past tense ? A question often asked. (We won’t talk about future tense in this discussion.)

Why not write your story in both tenses, if that’s what it takes! As long as it’s done without confusing the reader. I like to think that authors can zip between tenses freely if they want to establish different times and eras to connect actions, make a point, show growth or connect resulting outcomes.

Example: A writer of his memoir narrating as an adult about actions in the past he is describing in present tense as if the actions were unfolding in real time and seen through his eyes as a teen. I hope this makes sense !

Word tense can get complicated, so in my research of this topic I will first direct my readers (the few I have!) to a “Grammer Girl” site that will describe exactly what kinds of present and past tenses there are…Surprise! There are more than “simple” past and present tenses, remember ? How about present perfect, present progressive and past perfect tenses, etc, etc ?

Go to for a brief review…and we will continue this discussion with the next post.


  1. Hi again. After I read your review and was about to close out, I thought why not drop by your page and see who you are. I clicked into this blog and boy am I glad I did. People always ask this question regarding “tenses”. I must direct them to your blog. I love it. I saved the link you posted also. I see you have accomplished a lot in your life. I’m going to enjoy dropping by and seeing what you have to say on your blogs. Phoebe

    Comment by Phoebe Brown — 04/13/2009 @ 10:07 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for posting, Phoebe,I hope you do come back and maybe be entertained a little and learn some too..John

    Comment by John Austin — 04/14/2009 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

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