1. jake1126
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    jake1126 New Member

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    Need help with this sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jake1126, Mar 6, 2016.

    I really need help guys. My story is third person past tense. Which would be correct, A or B?

    A.

    “Be strong Ren…Take care of your mother…I love you both oh so mu…”BOOOOOOOOM! The tearful sentence was cut short by the thundering sound of a golden bullet escaping the barrel of a large pistol and flying straight through the man’s skull.

    B.

    “Be strong Ren…Take care of your mother…I love you both oh so mu…”BOOOOOOOOM! The tearful sentence was cut short by the thundering sound of a golden bullet as it escaped the barrel of a large pistol and flew straight through the man’s skull.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. yellowrose64
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    yellowrose64 Banned

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    I am going with B! maybe.. "...of a golden bullet that had escaped the barrel of a large pistol and flown straight through the man's skull."
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Your tense is not the problem:
    escaping ... and flying, vs, as it escaped ... and flew​
    Neither of those is grammatically incorrect.

    But your passage could be improved by a re-write.

    “Be strong Ren, take care of your mother. I love you both so mu—”
    BOOOOOOOOM!
    The thunder of the golden bullet sounded, piercing [name]’s skull.
    I would probably rewrite it even further but I don't know the story you are telling. I don't know why the reader should care the bullet is golden or whether you need to remind us of that fact in this passage.
     
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  4. jake1126
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    jake1126 New Member

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    Thanks you two. Yea I took out "golden" later as it was irrelevant and nobody can see a bullet being fired anyway.

    I guess my main question was if it is okay to mix the tenses like that, or if it's even mixing tenses. Since the story is past tense, is it okay to describe the shot using present tense (escaping vs escaped).
     
  5. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    It's not mixing tenses. You've used the word escaping to create a participle phrase (don't panic; bear with me). It has nothing to do with the tense (the time when something happens).

    You wrote:

    The tearful sentence was cut short by the thundering sound of a golden bullet escaping the barrel of a large pistol and flying straight through the man’s skull.

    In this sentence the main verb (the one that tells us when the actioned happened) is was cut, and that's a past tense. The word escaping is part of a participial phrase -- escaping the barrel of a large pistol -- that works like an adjective and tells us something about the bullet, not the time when the action happened.

    Check out this link to Grammar-Monster.com for a better explanation than I've given here.
     

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