I didn't want to hijack a different thread but it really got me thinking about where past tense narrators are in time. Sometimes, it's explicit: A character will tell you that the story is from their childhood, but it's clear that they are now an adult. Ala How I Met Your Mother or The Wonder Years. The voiceover is the main character 10 or 20 years in the future, still alive telling the story. Or maybe it's presented as a journal entry of an event from only a few days ago. Most of the time, though, it isn't. It's just located an arbitrary distance in the past (even though the setting may be explicit.) If this is the case, where do you usually assume the narrator is in time? I usually assume that the narrator is dead and it's a recounting from beyond the grave. We're reading a story of the past about someone from the past, regardless of whether or not the actual story takes place in the present or even the future.