1. Fizzleup
    Offline

    Fizzleup New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    a possible tense problem

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Fizzleup, Aug 21, 2011.

    Hi there! I'm looking for some advice on my attempts at rewriting a novel. It's third person, past tense. Now after having a couple of friends critique, one problem that came up often is that I use the word 'as' way too much. Unfortunately in my attempt to remove 'as' from sentences I think I'm creating a new grammar problem tense wise. Here is a example-

    Redbeard's blue skin turned purple as he coughed.

    Changed to this-

    Redbeard's blue skin turned purple, a cough escaping his lips.

    Using 'ing' is for present tense as far as I understand. But I really do find the sentence to sound smoother after the change. Was looking for feedback, specifically if its recommended to make the change, keep the original sentence and just cope with too many 'as's, or if there's a better way to alter such a sentence.
    Please note I'm just a hobby writer so I tend to miss a lot of obvious grammar issues.
     
  2. CottonCandi
    Offline

    CottonCandi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    USA
    Yeah I see what u mean. Try this:

    Redbeard's blue skin turned purple when he coughed.
     
  3. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Before you go about cannibalising your efforts, are you certain you use 'as' too much?

    A quick search suggests one might expect to find a little over 1 'as' in every 200 words of fiction.

    Count 'em up!
     
  4. justforthesake
    Offline

    justforthesake New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    The word 'as' is sometimes under valued eg: 'as'da, 'as'lan, set 'as' background.
     
  5. Lightman
    Offline

    Lightman Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    8
    The problem doesn't exist. The present participle isn't limited to describing present actions.
     
  6. justforthesake
    Offline

    justforthesake New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    i agree with Lightman.
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The modified sentence is problematic. The part after the comma is structured as a modifier, but it's unclear exactly what it is modifying.

    The original sentence is clearer. The coughing is clearly tied to his color change.
     

Share This Page