1. Fanficlover
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    Fanficlover Member

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    Past and Present tense verb

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Fanficlover, Nov 17, 2010.

    When I write a story, I get mixed up with past and present tense verbs. If I write any story, in any paragraph should I keep it past or present? I am not sure if this thread is in the wrong place to post here, but I will just do this. If it is mistaken to post here, would someone please move it for me?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Narrative tense is not the same as grammatical tense. You can have a paragraph, or even a sentence, in a story told in past narrative tense, that contains past, present, and future grammatical tense. For example:

     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    exactly!

    you need to do more reading of good writing... study the work of the best writers and you'll find the answers to many of your questions right there, in how they deal with the issues that confuse you...
     
  4. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    Tense

    With experience and education, a lot of these issues will become naturally resolved.

    Some others, for instance 3rd person past and adding in a flash back, can take some work.

    For example:
    (BAD) She was thinking about all the problems in her life. She was beat up last week, her money was stolen two weeks ago, and she lost three babies in the last five years.
    (GOOD) She was thinking about all the problems in her life. She had been beat up, just last week, she had her money stolen two weeks ago, and she had lost three babies in the last five years.

    Using perfect past tense allows the reader to know its the past of the past. ALWAYS, and I do mean always, remember you are writing concepts. Each sentences and word is to reflect your story, so when you write, keep in mind the when, where, and what. Sometimes we skip over the when and do a flat tense, but ever book gets revisions, and if you or someone feels slightly confused. Work on it.



     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...sorry, src, but your 'good' is not all good... ;-(
     
  6. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    Hello again

    "Thank you sir, may I have another?" said SRC, handing Mammamaia a whip. :eek:

    I stand by the, been up for like 26 hours, theory. Thanks however, but are you following me around. I won't steal anything, I promise! :p

     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nah, not following you, just working my way down the list of new posts, as i do every single morning, 365 days a year...

    sounds like you'd better make yourself get more sleep, amigo!

    oh, and lose the whip... i'm agin' all violence!

    hugs, m
     

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