Robin Hawke


‘Night
March 20, 2012, 2:54 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

I went into a brazen sleep that taunted the others. While I dreamed, they watched. Shoes, sleeping bags, tarantulas held their thoughts while I drifted on blue.

 

I use -ing words to shorten sentences, but worry that I rely on them too heavily: original ‘taunting’; now: ‘that taunted’. I haven’t heard or read any advice about this usage. Does anyone have a suggestion when two words might be better than one?

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5 Comments so far
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I think that writing in the present tense can be harder, but it also adds vibrancy to the writing. I know, however, that with students I try to discourage them from using “ing” because they always tend to use a form of to be with it:

“I am living with my parents”
“The boy was reading a book.”

In this passage, “taunting” would seem more immediate, so I guess it is really a matter of style and what you wish to achieve.

My comment, is absolutely useless. 🙂

Comment by Lisa Wields Words

Nevertheless, your comment is much appreciated.

Comment by Robin Hawke

I’m wrestling(!) with that in my works in progress. I haven’t decided whether -ing or several words flow better. If I find any good advice on it, I’ll let you know. 🙂

Comment by jmmcdowell

Please do. As will I.

Comment by Robin Hawke

I think it depends on what’s doing the taunting. As it is now, the sleep is doing the taunting. Change “that taunted” to “taunting” and, to me, it changes the meaning. Then the subject (I) is doing the taunting.

Comment by Kay Camden




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