Online dating present day
These techniques allow us to convey our character’s subjective experience of time and thereby achieve more psychological depth and realism.
They also help us complicate a character by placing her in a larger temporal context.
Present-tense fiction can create another kind of suspense, of course—the kind we feel when no one knows the outcome—but not this kind. The use of present tense encourages us to include trivial events that serve no plot function simply because such events would actually happen in the naturalistic sequence of time.
As a result, a present-tense story sometimes seems, in the words of Macauley and Lanning, “less the work of an author than an unedited film.” Take, for example, Kate Mc Corkle’s slice-of-life story “The Last Parakeet,” in which for no apparent reason we watch the “Today” show with the narrator while she eats a bowl of Rice Krispies.
” she said, then added, “The past tense makes a story seem kind of ‘19th-century,’ don’t you think? The best writers almost always seem to know, either consciously or intuitively, when to use present tense. Present tense has become something of a fad, and we often use it even when past tense would serve the story better.
“The past soaks into you,” he says, “because the present is missing almost entirely.” In Bradley’s view, the past is eternally present in memory.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.In 1987, Robie Macauley and George Lanning dubbed it “the most frequent cliché of technique in the new fiction,” and since then, it’s appeared with even greater frequency.Although there are signs that its use is diminishing among established writers, it’s becoming the default choice for many younger writers.
It seems natural to alter the chronology of events in past tense, when the narrator is looking back from an indeterminate present at many past times, but it seems unnatural to do it in present tense, when the narrator is speaking from and about a specific present. It is more difficult to create complex characters using present tense.