When crafting a story, you have two big decisions to make before you even get started writing: what point of view are you going to use, and what tense will you write in. I’ve already discussed POV in another post. Today’s entry will talk about verb tense and what benefits and drawbacks come from both past and present tense.
Choosing a tense for your story determines the mood and pacing of your story. This is inherent in the tense you choose, because each has its own feel and garners its own response from the reader. There’s also a stylistic choice going on here, where you want your voice as an author to be heard. So keep all of this in mind as we discuss verb tense.