1. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Grammar Help with tense

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by tasjess, Jul 24, 2015.

    I'm having trouble with tense in the last few sentences of this paragraph. I should know how to fix this but I think I'm over thinking it and psyched myself out. The bits in italics have something funky going on tense wise I think but I'm sleep deprived for three years running and can't work it out.


    “Ewwwww! In the kitchen!” Amber took a glass and filled it with water, making a face at her parents. Stephanie smiled at Amber over Dennis’ shoulder, giggling as he blew raspberries into her neck. “Goodnight parents” Amber said placing her glass on the sink and turning to leave. Disentangling herself from Dennis, Stephanie grabbed her daughter in a hug. Dennis grabbed her from the other side roaring “Lamber Sandwich!” as Amber’s shrieking giggles filled the kitchen. Brandon came running out from the bedroom and leapt up on his Dad’s back. Fred capered around them wuffing and hitting everyone with his tail. Stephanie glanced up in the midst of the noise and chaos to see the large ginger cat sprawling, relaxed on the carpet, watching the scene from a sensible distance. She smiled. Tonight they were safe. Tonight they were happy. Tonight was perfect.

    What am I doing wrong here or did I just look at it too long and confuse myself?
     
  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I'd do asyndeton. "She smiled. Tonight they were safe, tonight they were happy, tonight was perfect."
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fine. Remove the italics, and it's all just fine with absolutely no change to the wording.

    ...watching the scene from a sensible distance. She smiled. Tonight they were safe. Tonight they were happy. Tonight was perfect.

    If you intend the italics as (shudder. twitch.) thoughts-in-italics then you would take the action out of italics and change to the present tense.

    ...watching the scene from a sensible distance. She smiled. Tonight we're safe. Tonight we're happy. Tonight is perfect.

    or

    ...watching the scene from a sensible distance. She smiled. Tonight they're safe. Tonight they're happy. Tonight is perfect.
     
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  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Considering the text comes across as a thought it seems perfectly fine, tense wise. I assume the italics were only used to highlight the area in question.
     
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  5. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Yes, italics were only used to highlight the text in question. Font to convey meaning is often the equivalent of whacking in an emoticon ;) I think I just looked at it too long. Thanks for the help!
     

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