I am writing a story of my childhood using third person. My question is, should I use past or present tense ... "That say she/Today she ... She is happy/she was happy". I'm writing as if I'm remembering the events in my child's mind. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

asked Oct 10 '13 at 03:45 Sharon Hodges New member

Thank you, that's where my mind was going, but doubted myself! Appreciate the help.

Sharon HodgesOct 10 '13 at 11:56

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You can write in either tense.  Just make sure you are consistent.  I'll venture a guess that most novels are written in the past tense. 


Since this is not pure fiction (these events did happen to you in the past), it will be easier to write in the past tense. Your brain remembers the events in the past tense.  If you attempt to write in the present tense, you'll probably have to be much more careful in the editing phase to not miss anything you accidently wrote in the past tense.  Those errors will stick out like a sore thumb to a reader who wasn't there when it happened.

link comment answered Oct 10 '13 at 04:42 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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