1. MiltonClemens
    Offline

    MiltonClemens Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jakarta, Brisbane

    Past Perfect Continuous

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MiltonClemens, Oct 3, 2009.

    If I were to write a short story, I guess I need to write it in past tense. I realized that If I were to explain about a situation where something had been occurring ever since blablabla, I need to use past perfect continuous. I have this sentence but I don't think it is well put, something just doesn't feel right, would you help me?

    The heavy storm that had been occurring ever since he came out of his chamber, mounted horrors inside his spine.


    What's wrong and how can I fix the sentence? Thanks :)
     
  2. Leah Woods
    Offline

    Leah Woods Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Not sure what exactly is wrong with the sentence, or if the sentence is wrong, just the verb occurring doesn't really fit. At least it doesn't sound too right there. :D
     
  3. evelon
    Offline

    evelon Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    England
    The sentence is a little laboured. Change occurring for raging and drop the heavy, since raging suggests a heavy storm. 'mounted horrors inside his spine' doesn't sound right. How do you get horrors inside your spine? You need to find a different way of saying that.

    The storm that had been raging since he came out of his chamber, sent waves of terror rippling down his spine.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The core sentence, The storm mounted horrors. doesn't work at all. The verb mounted is a very poor verb choice.

    Apart from that, the comma should be removed, or else the entire middle portion treates as parenthetical by adding another comma:

    However, I feel the sentence itself needs to be scrapped and written anew. I don't think I would make that a single sentence anyway.
     
  5. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    The word chamber makes me think this person came out of an old house, or that the story takes place long ago.

    As already pointed out, you want to avoid weak verbs that don't paint a vivid picture like "occuring."

    Why not show the character's fear instead? You could also use this sentence to describe a bit of setting.

    The storm had been pounding the grass, trees, and bushes of the campus since I left my room. Thunder growled as lightning tore across the sky, sending spidery tingles crawling down my spine. Shaking but not cold, I looked over my shoulders, left then right, and swollowed hard.

    Sure, it takes more words, but he places us there more.
     
  6. dgraham
    Offline

    dgraham Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Okaya, Nagano, Japan
    I agree with the first two posters about raging.

    As well, I don't understand what "mounted horrors inside his spine" is supposed to mean. Does it mean he was horrified by the power of the storm? Or something else entirely?
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    evelon and cog have nailed the problems... i'd have said the same things...
     
  8. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    I would have also used raging. Two sentences would be better.
     
  9. SlickBeast
    Offline

    SlickBeast New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a case of dangling modifier. A dangling modifier is to the literary eye as a stinking corpse is to the nose.
     

Share This Page