How do you know which tense and viewpoint to use?

One Teen Writer To Another

Before you start working on a writing project, be it a short story or a novel, you need to decide which tense you’re going to write in and whose point of view the story will be told from. These two things are vitally important to get right, so I’d advise that you think about them carefully before making your choice. But how do you choose?

Let’s start with tense. You have two options here; past or present tense. Some writers stick to the same tense for everything they write, and others like to experiment with both. Traditionally, the past tense was predominantly used by authors of fiction, but the present tense is becoming ever more popular. I recommend that you choose whichever tense suits your story best. If the narrator of your story is an elderly man/woman reflecting on events from his/her life, the past tense is necessary. If your…

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