Sometimes when I begin a new piece of fiction I find myself automatically writing in present tense. I invariably correct myself and revert back to the more conventional past. But yesterday it had me wondering: what is affected by tense in a story? Why might we choose one or the other, and can you see any distcint benefits or drawbacks of either?
I do think the ability to shift freely through time is one element that gets affected; past tense seems to lend itself better to more freely hopping between different pasts and even into the future, whereas the present seems a bit confining. But perhaps this is not the case.