Mr. Cizak answered:
Austin, everybody has their pet peeves about writing. Mine is present tense fiction. I know it's popular. It's become more and more acceptable over the last twenty years. I just can't read it. When a piece of fiction is in the present tense, I feel a wall between the story and me.I'd like to open this discussion up and see what other folks think. I, for one, find myself agreeing with AC.
Another way to put it is this: Stories written in the past tense allow for reflection. It's like a nice big body of water inviting me to jump in. Present tense is like jumping in and finding out it's not water but, rather, a piece of glass that won't break.
I put that in the guidelines so people know what my particular pet peeve is. One last comparison-- I first noticed that Playboy was publishing stories written in the present tense in the mid-90s. Right about the time reality television started showing up. I said, at the time (about both), "It's a trend. It will go away." Neither has. Writers, especially younger writers, love to write in the present tense. Reality television is even on Bravo and A&E. People love it. I'm the old bastard who can't stand it. I've heard all the reasons for writing in the present tense and I'm not convinced. It just feels cold to me. Luckily, most editors aren't as picky in that area, so writers of present tense fiction have nothing to worry about!
Speaking of, I put my feelings on the matter into a flash fiction piece that is supposed to appear in a print journal some time soon now. The story is called "Presently Tense" and it's about a character in a present tense story who stops the action and admonishes the author for refusing to give his characters the opportunity for reflection.
Ultimately, we must say, to each his or her own.