Before you begin writing, hopefully you know the difference between past tense and present tense. 

If not, don't pick up the pen or lift your hands to the keyboard. Just stop and sit there and mentally slap yourself. I really feel sad that I have to explain this, but a lot of writers on wattpad don't realize that there is a difference between past and present tense. That, or their momma dropped them on their head. Again. Maybe even body slammed them to the ground.

I'll give you a list of past-tense:
  • Screamed
  • Cried
  • Yelled
  • Snapped
  • Growled
  • Teased
Those are all dialogue tags, and you notice something similar between them? They all end in "ed". Most of the time, if you're going to write and the sentence starts with a word ending in "ed", the following actions are also going to end in "ed". Not "s" or "es".

Here are examples of present-tense
  • Scream
  • Cry
  • Yell
  • Snap
  • Growl
  • Tease
It feels really redundant to list them since it's so simple, but some people don't know the difference. And it's sad. It actually makes me want to cry for them.

You pick a tense for a story and you stick with it. Don't try to be cool and variate throughout the story, capiche? It looks trashy. The most common and recommended tense is past. Readers are used to it and won't have to question everything. 

So here's a sentence:

She dialed his number and hopes he answers.

If you think that sentence is perfectly fine, I want you to ball up your fist and punch yourself. It's not. The tense is switching and that makes it painfully incorrect. 

The correct sentence:

She dialed his number and hoped he answered.

Everything is in past-tense, which is how it should be. If you feel like you're switching around, go back and read it and say it out loud, then ask yourself, "Did all of this happen in the past? Are there any S's? Am I that dumb that I can't figure out the difference between past and present tense?"

Not to be harsh or anything. I hope you know I'm just being a dick to get these rules to stick in your head. Lol not really, actually yeah kind of not really maybe yeah.

Think about that while you realize your follies on the tenses. 

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