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04 July 2005 @ 08:09 pm
I'm still sick and now I've got a big problem. Someone told me I have a serious 'tense-jumping' in my stories. I can't ask them what they really mean, so I will ask you.

Stories are written in the past tense but when someone talks or thinks you use the simple present. Like this:
He walked down the stairs. "You know, you look like a king in his best years." She said. Or is that more than wrong???

And the second thing is:
He read the report while eating a cookie. OR He read the report while he was eating a cookie. What's right???

If anyone could help me I would be in your debt forever ^-^

Oh and got some song ideas for a vid? Tell me!
still sick
Current Mood still sick
Current Music Waterfalls - TLC
Danieladaniforblue on July 4th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Sorry, sweetheart, can´t help you there. I got better with tenses in the last two years but still it´s some mystery to me. What about asking in the fandom for a native beta-reader to help you? I have two and they are adorable. I love them dearly.

I´m always looking for ideas for a vid. The important thing is to find the perfect song. If I find one I surely won´t tell you.
Evil of me, huh?
Mercymercscilla on July 4th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'll try that. Thanks for the tip.

Evil you but I still love you *hugs*
Vickyvickysg1 on July 4th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh and got some song ideas for a vid? Tell me!
It's so funny because this afternoon I was listenning to the radio and there was Kylie Minogue's Can't get you out of my head and I so thought: I wonder if there's a John/Elizabeth vid on this song!

And for the tense-jumping, I can't help you, sorry. I only wrote two fics in english and one of my friends, who study english, beta-read me.
Mercymercscilla on July 4th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
Okey dokey, set the song on ym list. If I use it I'll give credit to ya. ^-^
pellucid: wants to kiss her (by phrenitis)pellucid on July 4th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
You don't have any tense problems in those two examples, at least. The second sentence of the first one should be punctuated as follows: "You know, you look like a king in his best years," she said.

In the second example, either phrasing is correct. The second is a little clearer, but it's also wordier; really, it's just a matter of preference.

Usually, when people have tense problems in fics or other writing, it has to do more with the narrative part of it flipping from past tense to present or vice versa. Most people write stories in past tense, but sometimes people use present; whichever you're using, you should be consistent.

/grammar nerd ;)
Mercymercscilla on July 4th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you sooo much *snuggles* & *hugs* & ♥

I'm writing in past tense and until now I had no problems with that. And well, punctuation... everyone has their own idea... ^-^

But that someone meant in my CSI story I would do a lot of 'jumping'.
Can you take a look at it, please?

Pretty Please ;D
pellucid: smart is sexy (thanks dm_lunsford)pellucid on July 4th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Just did a quick scan-through looking for vt stuff. Overall, I don't think you have anything to worry about; quite possibly your critic doesn't really know what she's talking about. (what? readers of fanfic with grammatical problems??? surely not!!! *grins*) The two errors I noticed were in this bit, and they're probably more spelling errors than tense errors:

Again he took her hand and layed it on his heart. "Trapped in that coffin wasn't the worst part, no Sar, the worst was that I thought I wouldn't be able to tell you 'I love you' back." He draw her back into his arms.

First bolded word should be "laid," not "layed." And the second, which looks like a verb tense problem but is probably just a typo, should be "drew." ;)

Incidentally, though, I only very, very, very rarely do the beta thing (this didn't really count because it was so short). I critique writing as a job (tutor, teaching assistant), so it's not something I tend to volunteer to do extra-curricularly!
Mercymercscilla on July 4th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
*massive hug attack* They are spelling errors *hides*
I'm in your debt forever ^-^ The next vid is for ya *big promise*
Thanks again ♥