I don’t normally like writing about writing on this blog, but at the same time, I don’t like posting non-story stuff on my other blog, so this is truly the best place for it.
Back on December 30 and 31st, I was inspired to try out a writing experiment. Normally, when I write something, my default point of view is 1st person past tense. “I went to the store and bought a large block of cheddar cheese.” I have always felt that this tense brings you closer to the character telling the story, but at the same time, this character also rarely has deep insight into the thoughts of other characters unless mind reading is a major plot point of the story in question.
My writing experiment was a two-fold change. First, the point of view went from 1st to 3rd person omniscient, and second, the tense changed from past to present (simple present and present perfect; I have no idea if it’s okay to mix the two. It’s probably not. I need to brush up on present tense grammar). So now, my 1st person past tense phrase becomes “Philip goes to the store and buys a large block of cheddar cheese.” This was very fascinating for me to implement as a writer. I felt like I was released from some sort of 1st person point of view shackles.
If you are as used to writing in one POV and tense as I was, this isn’t such a simple change as it seems. I kept finding myself randomly switching tenses while writing and completely unsure how to phrase certain actions. This is why I’m still not sure if switching between present and present perfect is grammatical correct.
This change has been a good one, though. I might actually prefer 3rd person POV now, as I basically haven’t stopped writing and it’s all in this wonderful POV.