Thursday, February 07, 2013

Tense and POV

One of last month's short stories had some tense and POV problems. I might have intended to do it as first-person, but I started in third for some inexplicable reason, so there are spots in the first draft where I'd write something on scrap paper and integrate it later, and it wouldn't match.

Anyway, that was an obvious place to start the second draft, cleaning up the tense and POV. So I picked one. Changing the verb in every sentence and a noun in about half gets boring really fast, so I resorted to search-and-replace. "Jeremy said" and "said Jeremy" became "I say", which is reasonable. Then every other instance of "said". Then every instance of "was" became "is", but this was a problem because I apparently overused the word "wash" in this story, about 50 times or so it seems. I should have chosen "was " (with a space after it) to "is " I think. "They" became "we" and "were" became "are". I started searching for "ed" but that was too tedious because I couldn't just replace it with "e", "es", or nothing.

And then I started reading the story and it read sort of like something written by one of my beloved non-native Engish speaking colleagues, some of whom I think get text strings auto-translated. Does anyone know of a good list of words to search and replace for, and also what would be the best order?

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