I like writing in the present tense. It gives a story a cinematic feel and it also helps me capture a moment in a way that shows, rather than tells. So I wrote most of my 87,000-word memoir in present tense. It worked, it flowed, but something was missing and I didn’t know what.
Thanks to some feedback at the Zurich Writers Workshop a couple of weeks ago, I now know exactly what was missing: the memoir needs more perspective. To achieve this, I am now going back and rewriting the chapters in the past tense in order to create more narrative distance and add a bit more reflection and cultural insight to the work.
It’s amazing that this little nugget of advice can make such a difference.
Any bits of advice you’ve learned at a class or workshop that you found immediately helpful?