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I avoid present tense verbs like the plague. But some don't. Others mix both past tense and present tense in the same novel or story.(which is a horrible idea in my opinion)
What do you guys prefer? Present or past....
It all depends on the narrative.
If the author has birthed a character who would narrate, or speak, in the present tense then that is what must be done because everything hinges on that one character.
Though one should take greater care in writing to avoid cliches... ;]