My current draft is, for the most part, a typical story in 3rd person, past tense narrative.

A little over halfway through the story, it is revealed that the narrator is a first-person actor relaying the accounts of the protagonist. It knows the intimate details of the protagonist's journey because it exists within the head of the protagonist and has access to any and all information the protagonist has (memories/emotions/opinions/thoughts/etc).

It is, much later, revealed that it is, from the head of the protagonist, relaying the story to another party relevant to the plot.

It is at this point that the narrative tense will switch from past to present, as the "story" from the perspective of the residing entity, has been told, but the events continue to unfold towards the eventual conclusion.

I have yet to write the "tense" switch as I haven't reached that stage of the manuscript which will only occur within the last couple of chapters (I'm about 50,000 words into what I expect to be around a 70,000-word first draft), but I was wondering:

  1. Would you find this overly confusing or jarring?

  2. Do you have any thoughts about how you might approach this sort of thing, or perhaps examples from other pieces of writing from which I might draw inspiration?

Source: reddit post


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