I'm about to embark upon my writing my first novel. I've tied to get this idea down for multiple years but studying has always got in the way. Now that I've graduated, I want to finally tell my story.

I have a question regarding the tenses I want to use. The novel will have two first person narrators, and will alternate between them. It is paramount that one of the narratives is in the present tense (for story reasons, it wouldn't make sense in the past tense), but I love the idea of the second narrator speaking in the past tense and he retrospectively tells the events (this narrative can be either past or present as there are no story reasons dictating this).

My worry is that to have one narrator in the present tense and another in the past will make the novel feel disjointed and messy. Whilst the two characters that narrate each chapter will meet in the novel itself, none of the chapters will switch halfway through so it'll be obvious when the tense/narrator changes. Like I said, I'm concerned it'll be disjointed.

I'd really appreciate some insight into this. Thank you!

Source: reddit post

Read:  Quick question regarding present and past tense.


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