August 1st, 2008

creative needs

Tenses and Point of View in Fiction: Is Present Tense More Desperate?

with examples from Stargate SG-1

There are two conscious decisions an author must make before beginning a piece of writing—selecting the tense of the story and the point of view. These two things can set the tone of the piece, determining whether the reader is close to the action or further removed. The more immediate the action and the reactions from the character, the closer the reader is to the piece; the further away from the action, the more reflective the characters can be. The tense and point of view of the story are what drive the narrative and the reader's experience.

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(Many thanks to theemdash for help with examples.)