Getting a bit Tense

I don’t know if anyone else has the same problem, but tense and me just do NOT get on. It seems like such a simple concept, past, present, future. What can go wrong? But there are so many things that do go wrong. I find that present tense writing generally sounds quite forced, unless being used for a particular purpose. I therefore tend towards past tense but find that present always tries to get a look in! Take this example, pointed out to me at my writing class:

‘If he couldn’t even remember, it surely can’t have mattered.’

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Or:

‘He can’t help wonder if he would still have accepted the offer if he had known how much it would cost him.’

Again, wrong! This is an ongoing problem that keeps biting me in the backside and leaving me desparing. I hope I’m not alone in this problem, although I fear I may be. When I attempted, long ago and in a land far away, to begin my ever elusive novel I had great difficulty with tense. I began a chapter in one tense and ended it on a completly different one. What a nightmare. I can only hope that I will grow into this tense issue with time! On the plus side, it’s generally just a case of the wrong word popping up every now and again. At least now I know what I’m looking for I can correct myself as I go! That’ll be all for today folks, someone please tell me they’ve had issues with this as well!

Olivia

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