Should you write "I am" or "I was"?


I wasn’t talking about first drafts or drafts you keep on WP (even though I’ll stop reading if I find too many errors), but the final manuscript where certain rules can’t be broken – two of those are tenses and spelling. During the creative process, you need to get the words down.

Fragments are definitely popular today unless they are used excessively – my line editor doesn’t even pick up on those anymore. Not sure if they are considered a break of grammar rules or just a stylistic choice.


Thankfully I don’t plan on sending any type of manuscript in. I just write for fun. I’m still a university student, so I don’t have the time to take it seriously right now.


I’ve posted several short stories from both perspectives. It all depends on what fits the story. Just make sure you keep an eye out to ensure the story continues from the same perspective.


It depends on the story really. I’m reading a story in first present right now over on Tapas and I barely notice it’s in present.

See, that’s where I’m too much of a chicken. I can’t kill off narrators :joy: I get far too attached and then I cry if I think about killing them. I’m an absolute sap when it comes to my beloved narrators.


I’m more used to “I was” ; I use the past tense more but you should use the one you are comfortable with and the one that flows smoothly with your story.


It all depends on the story you are writing. In some cases you may use both together as well.


Choosing the tense depends on you and how you feel the story is best suited for. I’ve written in both present tense and past tense, so I personally don’t have a preference. However, I choose based on what the story would use as most useful.

In my story A Nightmare’s Fate, I used present tense so it felt like it was happening as you read on. The story was mainly about grief, so I wanted the reader to experience how the character felt as if the reader was going through the same things.

In my current story, In the Dark, I use past tense. This is because I want it to sound as if the character made it through and is telling a story to give a bit of hope to the reader.


I personally enjoy writing in the first person past tense. I didn’t understand past and present tense back then very well, so my older wattpad books needed major editing because I tried to mix the two and it was not any good.

Over the years as I’ve written in the last tense more often, I’ve slowly been getting out of mixing the two. Now when I go back to re-edit a story, I just fix typos and things that don’t make sense but I rarely have to fix a sentence that is in present tense when the whole book is in past tense.