Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pull Up A Chair With Mon ~ Let's Talk About: Initial 'ING' verbs #writetip

Initial –ING verbs

It's been a while since I last added to my Pull Up A Chair blog series. I thought I'd talk about starting sentences with an ING verbs. If you're a writer, and have critique partners, no doubt you'd be familiar with the policing that goes on when it comes to the way we write/construct our sentences. As such, you probably have the red pen pulled out to highlight every time a sentence begins with an ING verb.  Some readers find it annoying when authors begin a sentence with an ING verb. Me--I don't care, so long as it's used correctly and you're telling me a good story. 

The occasional ING at the beginning of a sentence is perfectly okay. Just think, if we all constructed sentences the same way, how would we ever differentiate between authors' voices--or even cultivate our own unique voice?! I really don't think there's a problem with starting a sentence with ING verbs, providing they aren't overused! 

However, they're often misused. 

Since I mentioned using the ING incorrectly, I must now point out how to use it correctly. The trick is to only ever start a sentence with an initial ING verb if the action you are describing matches the action which follows. Your character has to be able to do both the ING verb and the verb that follows at the same time.

For instance, perhaps your character is  making a cup of tea. You can say: pouring the milk, she stirred the tea. These two actions can be done simultaneously.

However, you can't say: Opening the milk carton, she stirred the tea. This would be incorrect since one cannot open a carton and stir tea at the same time--not unless you have more than the two hands most people are born with. 

If you ever wondered about the ins and outs of the ING verb, now you know. And if you've never considered this subject, I hope I've shed a bit of light on it.

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your company. 

Until next time God bless.