1. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas

    To those with a keen eye.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Blue Night, Jan 31, 2012.

    Here is a quote from britishcouncel.org

    “If you are talking about the past but you mention something that is still true you could use a present tense form to show you agree that it is true:”

    Here is a quote from hubpages.com

    “You are with me in the moment as I write it. So present tense can be used in dialogue effectively and in some types of statements you can use it in the same sentence with past tense -- implying something that's continuously true and still true.”

    Now for my actual paragraph:

    As for the Laguna, it was void of human activity. I felt a little displaced, like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Except for the accompaniment of distant seagulls and the steady gulf breeze, it seemed somewhat other-worldly. When I brought myself, I brought the only sample of human kind. Yes, to venture the water is to go into isolation and loneliness.

    The last sentence holds true througout the story. Is the tense valid?
     
  2. shakespear57
    Offline

    shakespear57 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Wagga Wagga NSW Australia
    I think
    would work better than 'is' ?
     
  3. Backbiter
    Offline

    Backbiter Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    I agree with shakespear, that wording does sound better. However, I do believe that your original sentence was correct.

    Also, should it be "to venture into the water"?
     
  4. Jowettc
    Offline

    Jowettc Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    8
    I believe you are correct that the present tense is still true and therefore it still applies. However, should it not be, "Yes! To venture upon the water is an exercise of isolation and loneliness."

    I dislike the term, 'to go into'. I think it's a split infinitive and doesnt read well imo. I also think the, Yes! is a stand alone statement.
     
  5. Backbiter
    Offline

    Backbiter Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    I do agree with Jowettc on the whole "to go into" business. It is always best to find an interesting way to word things, as long as it doesn't end up seeming overly flashy.

    However, on the question of whether it should be "Yes!" or "Yes," I think it depends on the emotions present. Adding the exclamation point seems to give it a feel of excitement, almost, which doesn't really flow with the mood of the passage overall. The use of a comma instead gives the feel of answering an unspoken question, as if the speaker is doubting their own presence in this place - which is also depicted as sort of eerie and disturbing.
     
  6. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    I think I would say:

    To venture into water is like going into isolation and loneliness.

    Here you have made a comparison/metaphor therefore you are to use the present continuous to suggest continuity.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yes, the tense is correct, because it's a statement of fact, not action within the narrative, which would have to be consistently past tense...

    however, the 'yes' stuck onto the beginning for no apparent reason makes no sense, since it's not answering a question, or countering an opposing viewpoint and an exclamation is out of place there...
     
  8. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Wow, maia, you're good. I appreciate the extra input.
     
  9. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Update: I've been going through my manuscript. I'm screwed.
     
  10. jc.
    Offline

    jc. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hawaii
    You're not screwed. From what I hear, most writers re-write their books half a dozen times. I even read somewhere that Hemingway re-wrote one of his books 43 times, so don't despair.
     
  11. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks jc. I'm trying.
     
  12. jc.
    Offline

    jc. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I understand how you feel, trust me... it's hard enough just reaching the manuscript stage. Re-writing it all scares the heck out of me.
     
  13. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, that's where I'm at.
     
  14. joanna
    Offline

    joanna Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Boston
    Aw.

    I actually love that.

    It's that "Thank God I caught this ish now... I have a lot of interesting work to do" moment.
     
  15. Blue Night
    Offline

    Blue Night Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Maia,
    You pointed out ‘distant’.
    Why?
     
  16. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i didn't just 'point it out'... i moved it... where i placed it makes it clear that the 'accompaniment' is what was distant, which makes better sense than being accompanied by something that's far away, as you had it...
     
  17. Kallithrix
    Offline

    Kallithrix Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Um... it's not actually. The infinitive is 'to go' and the the preposition is outside that, so it doesn't split it at all.

    However it's true that there is probably a more interesting way of phrasing it.
     

Share This Page