POV and Tense

by Tara
(New Zealand)

Question: I'm trying to write a story about an adventure that happens to four people. One person is basically the protagonist, and I've been writing them in first-person/present tense.

However, I also want to write about the other characters and since they aren't the protagonist, they're written in third-person, but its easier to write them in past tense as well, instead of present tense. There's lots of info on switching POV and switching tense, but not really switching both at the same time.

I was wondering if it would be considered acceptable to switch from first-person/present tense to third-person/past tense when switching between the protagonist and the other three characters?

Answer: I think it's important to consider why you would want to change from present to past tense. Does it add anything to the story?

You might try writing your protagonist's perspective in past tense and see how it feels reading it back.

You want to find the narrative style that makes the story come to life in the most valuable way.

Of course, you should not change narrative mode or point-of-view within a scene.

Best of luck.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.