Use of present-tense for memory-related shenanigans in a past-tense story?

Asked by: Jammie Currie

Can you use present tense in a story?

You can use either present or past tense for telling your stories. The present tense is often associated with literary fiction, short stories, students in writing programs and workshops, and first novels. The past tense is used in most genre novels.

Can you mix past and present tense in a story?

It is not advisable to mix past and present tense in a story. It is good practice to avoid switching tenses during a scene or within the same paragraph unless doing so is essential for clarity. Switching tenses can be jarring to the reader and make the story hard to follow.

How do you say past story in present tense?

Let the reader experience the story in real time



So instead of writing, “He walked through the door and slammed it shut behind him,” which is in past tense, the screenwriter would write, “He walks through the door and slams it shut behind him,” which is written in present tense.

What tense should a memory be written in?

Use the past perfect tense to clue your reader in. Start and end your flashbacks with the past perfect tense, but then return to the simple past so that your writing doesn’t feel awkward to read. The past perfect tense can be tiring to read.

Why are stories written in present tense?

Present tense has more “immediacy” than past tense.



Past-tense narration is of course “immediate” in a way, since the events of the characters’ past are happening in the reader’s present. But the immediacy of the present tense also allows us to convey a character’s change as it happens, not after the fact.

Is Harry Potter written in present tense?

Harry Potter isn’t only written in third-person limited; it slips into moments that feel more like third-person omniscient.

When can you use present tense in past tense?

In general, use the present tense to describe actions and states of being that are still true in the present; use the past tense to describe actions or states of being that occurred exclusively in the past.

Can I use past tense and present tense in the same paragraph?

The bottom line is this: there is no restriction on what tenses we can use and mix within a sentence, as long as they are appropriate for the context.

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Can I use past tense and present tense in the same sentence?

It’s fine to use the present and the past here. After all, that’s what happens: as you say, you paid the deposit in the past and pay the rent in the present. Tenses should agree in the same clause, but it’s very common to have multiple tenses in the same sentence. Although I was sick yesterday, I am fine today.

Can you write a memory in present tense?

Memoir is about something that happened in the past. You can write the story in the past tense. Or you can write the story in the present tense, as though it is happening now. There is power in the present tense.

How do you write a memory in a story?

The 5 Rules of Writing Effective Flashbacks

  1. Find a trigger to ignite a flashback. Think about when you are suddenly pulled into a memory. …
  2. Find a trigger to propel a return to the present. …
  3. Keep it brief. …
  4. Make sure the flashback advances the story. …
  5. Use flashbacks sparingly.


How do you transition from present to past in a story?

The convention is even simpler. Put story-time action in present tense and put the entire flashback in past tense. When you’re ready to return to story time, simply resume present tense.

Are stories written in past or present tense?

The past is the most common convention in the use of tense for fiction writing, which makes it the most familiar narrative tense for readers. Sometimes this familiarity works against authors who chose to compose their narrative in the present—some readers are dismiss those texts outright.

Which tense is best for telling stories?

When you tell a story you’re telling about events that happened in the past, so you would almost always use the past tense. There is however a usage called the historical present, dramatic present or narrative present, using the present tense to tell a story.

How do you choose a tense for a story?

Which verb tense is right for your story? Once again, the best option is always the one that feels most natural for you to write. It is worth noting that past-tense is by far the most conventional choice, however. Because first-person is far less common, it can sometimes feel jarring to readers.

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How do you write a simple present tense story?


My father is a constructor he builds houses. He usually goes to work by car but he sometimes walks. My mother is a teacher she teaches mathematics in the school.

What are the examples of present tense?

Examples of Present Tense:

  • Rock wants to sing.
  • Bill writes the letters.
  • Peter is coming to our place.
  • Bob has given the book to Allen.
  • I am going to the varsity.
  • Aric loves to read books.
  • Lisa has been living in this area for twenty years.
  • The singer is singing nicely.

What is simple present tense with examples?

The simple present tense is when you use a verb to tell about things that happen continually in the present, like every day, every week, or every month. We use the simple present tense for anything that happens often or is factual. Here are a few examples: I go to school every day.

What are the examples of present perfect tense?

Examples of Present Perfect Tense

  • I have written articles on different topics.
  • He has read various kinds of books.
  • They have played football.
  • She has taken coffee.
  • He has gone to the library.
  • We have shopped in this market.
  • We have watched movies in this Cineplex.
  • You have shopped in that market.

What are the examples of past tense?

Examples of Past Tense

  • Bill attended the program.
  • Tom performed in the show.
  • Alice was practicing on the tennis court.
  • Jim had been there a long time ago.
  • I was waiting for my friends.
  • Peter had been cooking the meal before we reached there.
  • Alana was happy to hear the news.
  • Jeff had left the place before we reached.

What is the example of past perfect tense?

In the case of past perfect tense, it tells us that an event happened in the past before another event in the past. For example, the sentence Daniel had left by the time Erica got to his house uses the past perfect tense to say that Daniel left his house before Erica arrived.

Where present perfect tense is used?

The present perfect is often used for an action that started at some time in the past and is still continuing now. In this case, the words for (with a length or period of time) and since (with a specific starting time) are usually used with the present perfect. He has lived in Canada for five years.

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What kind of tense is used to talk about an action that started started in past but still continuing?

The Future Perfect Continuous tense is used to describe an action that began in the past and continues into some point in the future.

Which tense is used to express an action completed in the immediate past?

The simple past (also called past simple, past indefinite or preterite) is a verb tense which is used to show that a completed action took place at a specific time in the past.

What is present perfect tense of write?

“Wrote” and “reread” sound equally important in the first sentence. In the second, the past perfect form “had written” emphasizes the action “reread.” Present Perfect refers to completed actions which endure to the present or whose effects are still relevant. I broke my leg.

Is have present or past tense?

Present Tense Uses of Have and Has. Both words are present tense forms of the verb to have. The past-tense form is had, and the present progressive tense (or continuous tense) is having.

What is the difference between present perfect tense and past tense?

Use the simple past when the action started in the past, finished in the past, and is not continuing now. Use the present perfect when the action started in the past and is continuing now. The simple past tells us that an action happened at a certain time in the past, and is not continuing anymore.

What is a simple present tense?

It is used to describe habits, unchanging situations, general truths, and fixed arrangements. The simple present tense is simple to form. Just use the base form of the verb: (I take, you take, we take, they take) The 3rd person singular takes an -s at the end. ( he takes, she takes) Test your knowledge.

What are the 4 types of present tense with examples?

Types of Present Tense

  • Simple present tense.
  • Present continuous tense.
  • Present perfect tense.
  • Present perfect continuous tense.


What are the rules for present tense?

All Tenses Rules

Tenses Tenses Rule
Present Simple tense Subject + V1 + s/es + Object (Singular) Subject + V1 + Object (Plural)
Present Perfect tense Subject + has + V3 + Object (Singular) Subject + have + V3 + Object (Plural)
Present Continuous tense Subject + is/am/are + V1 + ing + object