Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feeling tense?

I was not an English major.

I was not schooled in the intricacies, the nuances, the pluperfects.

As a professional journalist, however, I had to know how to write clean copy. And that meant, among many, many things, using correct tense.

Most of the time, this isn't a problem. There are occasions I get turned and twisted a bit, but for the most part, I get it.

Some of you have expressed interest in learning about tense. I've also noticed, through Red Writing Hood linkups, posts that switch tenses - incorrectly.

It shouldn't be confusing, but the truth is, it definitely can be tricky.

Most fiction is written in the past tense. The key is to pick a tense and stick with it. If you want to try writing in present tense, that's fine, but you must be consistent.

I found this link to explain tense:

How to Choose Your English Tenses.

So, if something happened, and it's done, then it's in the past tense. "I ate all the cookies."

If something is timeless, it's present. "The sun rises every day." Unless you're saying, "The sun rose at 6 this morning."

Did I totally confuse you all?

If you have specific questions, leave it in the comments and we - or other knowledgable readers - can answer.

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