Author Topic: How do i make sure past and present is presented clearly  (Read 1026 times)

Offline Jannie

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How do i make sure past and present is presented clearly
« on: January 03, 2012, 04:36:41 AM »
My story is structured in such a way that it presents Past and present tenses, and also childhood memories as dairy entries. These diary entries are there for the reader to understand my characters psychological profile. The entries are placed in such a way to grow with the story until the "reveals all" moment.

Is there a standard on how to write these sections to avoid confusion? Where in a chapter is the past tense, where is the present tense and where is the dairy entries. Do I add dates to each section or is it the chapter. I have read as many books i can in the last 2 weeks to get an idea of other writers, but this has not given me a base line to work from and then to explore.


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Re: How do i make sure past and present is presented clearly
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 06:02:14 AM »
Hello, Jannie, I'm Wolfe. Your question is more in-depth than you think, but I'll try to answer it simply: use whatever method best suits your story and style.

That said, if you need a great example of how someone else did what you're asking, Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower should do. He used letters dated in chronological order not chapters. These letters were literally written to the reader in present tense, yet talked about past events in the past tense.

Also, Chbosky divided the book into parts. So, one section was Part One, and another was Part Two and so on. Additionally, he used the method of these letter to 'reveal' past incidents that affected the characters and the story. This method is something you mentioned, correct?

If nothing else, I suggest you buy or borrow The Perks of Being a Wallflower to study the method Chbosky used.

But, I must warn you, he addressed some racy issues to include suicide, molestation, homosexuality, and drug use. So, if those topics make you nervous, steer clear. Otherwise, it should help you greatly.

Just my humble opinion.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 06:04:47 AM by Wolfe »