the current situation and circumstances
"Present" does not refer to the way things are going, but to the way things are. It is a here and now judgment of the arrangement of a situation and the circumstances surrounding it. A story that focuses on the Present is not concerned with how events led to the current situation nor where the current situation will lead, but defines the scenario that exists at the moment.
syn. how things stand, the here and now, current situation, as of this moment