I mix tenses a lot, and surprisingly some well known authors also seem to, rarely, but sometimes, fall into the tense trap.
Before my second edit of The BOM MS, I replaced all present tense words with past. ie; has with had (The image below is what I used as a guide). I also removed every iteration of the word ‘that’, and except for a few pieces of dialogue, found it really was a throw away word, ie; it didn’t add too, nor take away from, the story itself.
It took about an hour to change everything to past tense, but it was so worth the time. I will do the same with all my MS’.
Sure, with dialogue the rules are different, but in keeping the MS consistent, I made the changes. I knew I was starting from the beginning anyway, and it helped to show me where dialogue needed fixing, where alterations to words like, knew and know, in the MS itself, needed fixing.
I found performing the past/present word replacements made my editing much easier, and helped to drop the word count and make the story more concise, tight.
Since the changes, I’ve been able to concentrate on character development, and descriptors. Also, it allowed to better use the environment as character to help move the story forward.
I’ve had a productive day, The BOM has fifteen chapters, and I’ve edited five today. I am very pleased with the way the story has shifted from a short story genre to a novella. I should get five or so chapters edited tomorrow, depending on the complexities I encounter.
The chapters are short, between 1400 – 1800 words, and this makes them easier to edit. I came across a chapter yesterday where description was required, and because it’s a dark neo-noir urban fantasy, I re-wrote that section to mesh with later, graphic, descriptions.
The Book of Matthew is not for children. It is not about Christians or Christianity. it’s about the birth of something new, universally new.
I’m excited about how it’s coming together, about releasing it.
Have a great day, or night, depending where you live.