If you are describing the area as it is today, you will need to transition to the present.
For example, " He walked though the area with caution. Today, this area has tall buildings and immaculate streets." Taking that approach, you will still need to indicate how the description of the area today is relevant to the narrative that takes place in the past.
Another way to go would be, " He walked through the streets of XXXX with caution because they were dark and isolated in contrast to today, where the area has tall buildings and immaculate streets.
So you always have to mention something about Today to make it work? The problem is that I am describing a story that takes place in the past, but the setting they are in has characteristics that still exist today. So if I say "this restaurant had" instead of "has" then the reader could think that I'm saying the restaurant doesn't have that characteristic anymore. In my book, the characters are in a well-known real place so the details of that place are important, thanks!
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Ok thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I said, "He walked through the West Wing of the White House as he talked to Mike. The West Wing has several famous paintings in the main hall..."
Is that correct?
Hi again, and you're most welcome!Yes, that would be correct.
I realize this is a work in progress, but it might make it a little more interesting if you wrote something like: "He walked through the West Wing of the White House as he talked to Mike. The walls of the West Wing are well known for their famous paintings, hanging in the main hall...."
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