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Archive for November 11th, 2009

Don’t get progressive with your tense Nov 11

Simple is Better

I’m sure you already know that your scene descriptions should only be written in the present tense, right? Riiiiight? Okay good.

But are you using the simple present tense or the progressive present tense?

Whuh?

That’s a fancy way of saying: Are you using “is” and “are” with your verbs? If so, you may be scriptwrecked.

Take this example of BAD writing:

Jason is sharpening his machete on a grinder. Sparks are bouncing off his goalie mask.

Sure, it’s present tense, but it’s not as active as:

Jason sharpens his machete on a grinder. Sparks bounce off his goalie mask.

See the difference?

Bottom Line

Always use the simple present tense because:

  • It’s more engaging to read
  • It shortens your scene descriptions
  • It’s one more red mark in the “amateur” column if you don’t
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Category: Style  | 2 Comments