This is Making Me Tense

Since we’re all honest here and chugging along as future authors, I feel inclined to share an issue I’ve been having recently. I thought changing my manuscript from 1st to 3rd person would fix the issue, but per usual, another issue cropped up. I’m talking about TENSE You know the thing in your shoulders when you’re stressed? Yeah, that.

I know about tense in the general sense, but how do I decide between past and present tense for my novel? I’ve been agonizing for a few days now, ever since I cracked open Harry Potter on Sunday, and the tense just stared me right in the face.

So, tense. Please tell me all you know, oh holy internet.

I had the intention of writing a post about tense, but here I am at the end, and I’ve said LITERALLY all I know about tense. So. HALP.

Right now, it’s natural for me to write in third-person, present tense. I have yet to find something published, that is written that way. Please, please share if you know of one! I’ve only found first-person present tense (Hunger Games) or third-person past tense (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, A Man Called Ove, Throne of Glass).

Is there a right way or a wrong way? Is it based off of personal preference? I’m sure that’s part of it, but is there a reader’s preference?

In which tense do you write? Is it natural? Or something you have to think about?

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