Tense and Persons
Two basic rules together:
- Stories are best written in the past tense.
Scripts are written in the present tense. If you are writing
a script, do it that way and you will be fine. Stories written in
the present tense almost never work. Use the past tense. Use it
all the time. No arguments.
- Stories are best written in either 3rd or 1st person.
Occasionally, a writer will take it into her head to write a story
in the second person. This is a strange and terrible thing. HMG
has seen this twice in TS fan fiction. One of the two stories worked.
The writer of the other only thought she was using second person;
in reality, she was using first. HMG's advice is this: Never, ever
write a story in second person. Use third person, "he, she,
it," or first person, "I." It is possible to mix
the two, if you draw clear lines between scenes using first person
and scenes using third, but it is not easy and often looks badly
put together. HMG does not recommend it.