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Potty
February 29th, 2012, 06:18 AM
I'm about to butcher this story for a bigger and better idea I've had, I really don't want it to go to waste as it is so thought I would share it with everyone here. Feel free to critique if you like but it's not why I'm posting it... I just can't stand waste!

Enjoy! (Ignore spelling etc as I've stopped fine tuning it due to a restructure.)


Reposted at #7

bazz cargo
March 5th, 2012, 11:05 PM
Hi Potty,
great stuff. I enjoyed your skewed sense of humour. I didn't look for any nits, just enjoyed the ride.
Respect.
Bazz

SamanthaMarie
March 5th, 2012, 11:17 PM
Agreed! I thoroughly enjoyed the round-about :)

Cefor
March 6th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Hey man, I thought the premise was pretty good -- but felt the ending was rushed, which makes sense if you're moving on to something else I guess... hope you post some from the new one when it's ready.

But yeah, a pretty enjoyable ride indeed.

Potty
March 16th, 2012, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the comments all! I was thinking about sending this into some sci fi competition or something (with a little tweaking of course). Might still do so, but it is going to be turned into a book which is several short stories based around the same character in a cyberpunk type setting. Really enjoying writing it!

courtneyanne9
March 19th, 2012, 04:52 PM
What a great story! Very interesting subject. Needs a little work on clarity, but I think that comes with the territory. Good luck in your re-envisioning of this - I'd be excited to see it.

Potty
May 8th, 2012, 04:15 AM
OK I've decided to enter this into a comp to see what happens. Shy bairns get nowt after all! If some of you more educated members would be kind enough to give me a few nudges where there are mistakes that would be fantastic. I'm wanting to look at spelling, tenses and general clarity.

I've honestly gone through to the best of my ability but just want a subtle nod if it's presentable. Thanks in advance! (Forget about layout, it looks very tidy in word. Just can't figure out the layout on the forum)

------------------------

Removed to conform to submission guidelines

courtneyanne9
May 9th, 2012, 03:00 PM
Hi Potty,

I really like the story, so I hope that this isn't too forward, but I went through and edited the entire piece and added in a few lines I think clarify it. I'm a spelling and grammar nut, so there shouldn't be any issues there. Also, I added "***" between section to signify a change in time/place which I think it needed. You can designate it any way, I just chose stars because it was quick and easy.

One issue that I saw and I am not good at myself, is tense. You seemed to switch back and forth with tenses a bit, but I'm not well-versed in the rules myself, so I may not have edited them properly. I hope this helps! I love the story :) Good luck!


Your story with my edits:

“Go on, take it.”

“What if I get caught?”

“You won't! There's no one around. Just take it.”

“I don't know...”

“You chicken?”

“No!”

“Then take it.”

“Fine!”

Not wanting to look like a chicken in front of Jimmy, Curtis reaches out and grabs a Kit-Kat off the shelf. He thrusts it into his pocket and looks around quickly to see if anyone spotted him. His stomach sinks at the sight of the shop keeper striding down the aisle toward him. He gulped and turned back around, but Jimmy had disappeared without a word.

“Young man,” barked the shopkeeper, “come with me.”

Curtis sheepishly follows the shopkeeper to the office in the back.

“It’s wonderful what technology can do,” the shopkeeper says, smugly patting the top of a security monitor. On the screen, Curtis watched himself pocket an item from the shelf. The Kit-Kat in his jeans felt much heavier than he knew it to be.

“Are you going to tell my mum?” asked Curtis.

“I think the police will probably do that for me. What’s your name boy?”

Curtis hangs his head and tells him his name, nearly whispering, too ashamed to look up. A tear drops into his lap.

The shopkeeper sighs, feeling a twinge of pity for the young boy.

“Look at it this way kiddo; in another universe you didn’t do it and are enjoying the rest of your day in peace.”

* * *

“Can't you go a little faster?”

“I'm not going to speed.”

“Everyone else does it.”

“Well in another universe I listen to your advice, break the speed limit and kill us both in a horrible car crash.”

“Wow, that made you sound so…”

“Sensible?”

“I was going to say uptight,” replied Jimmy irritably.

Curtis checks his rearview mirror. The car behind had been making love to his exhaust pipe for the last three miles. He hovers his foot over the brake pedal. The urge to stamp on it, causing the guy behind to rear-end him, was very tempting. An image of the irate driver crosses his mind. He lets himself feel smug for teaching the person a lesson in road manners and relishes the thought of claiming on the angry driver’s insurance policy.

But a nagging doubt ruins his self-righteous fury. Causing a crash was wrong. Instead of braking hard, Curtis flicks the hazard lights on briefly to let the driver behind know he was too close. The car backs off to a safe distance.

In another universe, I really enjoyed that, Curtis thought.

Arriving safely a few minutes later, they walk the short distance from the car to the pub. A wall of sound envelops them. Jimmy elbows his way toward the bar. It takes Curtis longer as he makes sure to politely ask everyone to let him pass.

When he makes his way to the bar, he finds Jimmy chatting up a girl who is slumped over the bar struggling to keep her face out of a pool of spilled beer.

“Curt, meet Abby,” says Jimmy with a sly grin.

Curtis eyes his friend with suspicion, knowing that the look on his friend’s face usually precedes a plan that lands him in trouble.

“Wsssip?” slurred Abby drunkenly, her head lolling on her shoulders.

“Isn't she great?” says Jimmy excitedly. “Be a gent and introduce yourself!”

“She's drunk!”

“I know! Get a few more drinks down her and slip this into one.” He palms a small tablet into Curtis's hand. “Half an hour after she her special drink, offer to give her a ride home – if you get my drift!” He nudges Curtis in the ribs and waggles his eyebrows lecherously.

With a little self-loathing, Curtis had to admit the prospect did pluck at some basic desire. She is a very attractive girl and he could always blame it on the drink if...

“Stick to your mantra!” He thought, scolding himself. “In another universe…”

He pushes aside the excitement originating from his groin and spreading through his body like a hot flush, wished his alternate self all the best with his evening of debauchery and asks the bartender to book a taxi for one. A sense of wellbeing washes over him and the knowledge of doing the right thing gives him comfort.

But curiosity got the better of him, so he allows himself an imaginative glimpse into how the alternative decision would've turned out.

“Curtis?” says a voice behind him snapping him out of a dark train of thought.

Curtis looks round and sees a man wearing a long black trench coat and matching trilby. He snorts at the man’s outfit.

“The godfather send you did he?”

“That's a good one. Very droll,” the man replied stoically “Come with me please.”

“And you are?”

“Inspector Walsh, IPD,” he says, flashing a badge clipped to his belt.

Curtis takes a closer look at the emblem.

“Inter-dimensional Police Department?” he reads aloud.

“If you would step outside, we need to ask you a few questions.”

“Did Jimmy put you up to this?”

“I'm quite serious. Step outside please.”

“I ain't going anywhere.”

The Inspector sighs and pulls a ruler shaped object from his trench coat. Curtis eyes it suspiciously.

“I don’t want to use this, but I will. Please step outside.”

“No.”

The Inspector slaps Curtis on the wrist with the object and it wraps around tightly. Shocked, Curtis tries to pull it off but it doesn't come loose. It solidifies. A feeling of fatigue washes over him and the room begins to spin.

“You have the right to remain silent,” says the Inspector.

Curtis doesn't hear the rest. His head hits the bar hard and he slips into unconsciousness.

***

“Rise and shine sleepy head!”

Curtis lifts his head and pain floods his senses.

“Where am I?”

“Detention facility.”

He opens his eyes and gives them a rub. His head is pounding. He looks up to find out who was talking to him. At first he thinks he is looking into a mirror until the reflection sneezes of its own accord.

“OK, that was weird,” says Curtis.

“You get used to it,” replied his reflection.

As the fog of unconsciousness slips away, Curtis realizes that his reflection was actually a real person that looks identical to him.

“So what you in for?” asks the double.

“What?” replies Curtis.

“What crime did you commit?”

“I didn't commit a crime!”

The twin blinks in shock. “Ohh! You're him!”

“Him who?” Curtis gives a soft groan as his headache redoubles at the confusion.

“You're the reason we're all here.” The double says and gestures to his right.

Curtis looks around for the first time. He’s in a dark, stone corridor. It stretches seemingly forever and on the benches lining the walls are thousands of copies of himself.

“What the hell's going on?” he asks in alarm.

“We've all been arrested because of you. Now that you've been caught I expect we'll be let go pretty soon,” says the double with satisfaction.

Curtis notices that each copy, himself included, is wearing an orange boiler suit.

“I don't understand,” says Curtis, massaging his temples.

“You're the guy that refuses to do anything wrong, right? Well, every time you decide to do the right thing, an alternative version of you does the wrong thing and suffers the consequences.”

“What's that got to do with me? I'm not the one who did anything wrong.”

“Let me demonstrate.” The double leans forward and slaps Curtis across the face as hard as he could.

A flash of fury shoots through Curtis, the urge to strike back almost takes over.

As soon as Curtis has that thought, there's a soft popping sound to his right. A new copy of himself materializes and looks around in surprise.

The double who had slapped Curtis leans toward the newcomer, “What you in for?”

“Bloodying up your face.”

“See?” the double says, turning his attention back to Curtis.

Curtis rubs his head some more. “OK let's assume for a moment that this isn't some dream. Why am I being punished if it’s not me that’s actually committing the crime?”

“Because you are the reason the rest of us are criminals. You refuse to take responsibility for your mistakes by not making any. By avoiding bad decisions, someone else,” he gestures along the corridor, “has to make up for it. So now the multi-verse is riddled with super criminals, all of them you... us.”

“What? Assault counts as a super crime?” asked Curtis nodding toward the new comer.

“Not on its own, but combine it with every other crime you've committed-”

“I haven’t committed any!” Curtis cuts in.

“You thought about it though. Every time you think of committing a crime you lock down your impulses and send it off for some other poor soul in another reality to deal with. For some reason you're able to avoid temptation better than the rest of us.”

“How do you even know all this?”

“One of us further down the line is a scientist, decided to stay in education when the rest of us went straight to work. He got to chatting with one of the guards who explained it all. He's in for robbing a petrol station.”

“Have you been here long?”

“Couple of hours.”

“What did you do?”

“I'd rather not say. It wasn't my finest moment.”

Curtis racks his brain, the double was the last person to be sent here before him, so it must have been the last bad thought he had before getting arrested. It dawns on him.

“You went through with it?” Curtis asks aghast.

“You did too... well you thought about it at least.”

“You're in quite a bit of trouble then.”

A sickly grin spreads across the twin’s face.

“Wrong. Einstein over there reckons we are only here so they can redistribute the...” The twin pauses mid-sentence and a look of puzzled concentration spreads across his face, “The um, wrong doings? They will be shared out balancing out the other realities. You're the one that’s in trouble!”

“But I'm innocent!”

“We're the victims of your innocence.”

***

“Curtis Green, You have been found guilty of sixty seven thousand, four hundred and three counts of innocence. You are sentenced to re-live your life in a standard fashion. Failure to live a balanced lifestyle will result in your erasure from the multi verse.” The judge’s gavel smashes into the desk and Curtis blacks out.

When he opens his eyes, he finds himself sitting on a hard wooden chair staring at a TV screen where a young boy is hastily slipping something into his pocket.

“Hey I remember this!” he says aloud

“I should hope so! Don't ever forget it either,” replied the shopkeeper.

Curtis jumps at the voice. He hadn’t realized someone was sitting opposite him.

“This is how it all started,” Curtis whispered to himself.

“Yup, this is how a lot of criminals start out: a little shop-lifting here, casual violence there. Before you know it you’re are locked up for life.”

“I wasn't talking to you.”

The shopkeeper looks round the office. “Who were you talking to then?”

“Me.” A sly grin creeps onto Curtis's face. “They've sent me back to wrong my rights.”

“What?”

“I need to balance the sin I have created throughout the multi-verse.”

“Erm...”

“I mustn’t ignore my inner desires. Be it theft, adultery or...” he flicks his gaze toward the shop keeper, “random acts of casual violence.”

The shop keeper looks at Curtis aghast. “Tell you what kiddo, I can see you have some issues and this little misunderstanding probably isn’t helping. Let’s forget the whole thing, but I don't want to see you in my store again.”

Curtis stands up and leans on the table thrusting his face into the shopkeeper’s. “I'll be back in the morning to discuss a business proposal which you will accept if you don't want people thinking you're a pervert.”

***

A shadow settles over Curtis as he lounges in the deck chair on the lawn of his stately home. He squints up at the figure looking down at him.

“Nice place you have here,” says the stranger. He looks into the distance where hedge mazes, statues, peacocks and various other extravagances litter the grounds. At the edge of the ornamental garden are two body guards, they had already unslung their assault rifles and were hurrying toward Curtis and his unexpected visitor.

“Now that voice sounds familiar,” says Curtis, sitting up to get a better look at the man in his garden. “What can I do for you, inspector?”

TBK
May 9th, 2012, 06:07 PM
The tenses are still off.

Past tense: Curtis threw the ball.

Present tense: Curtis throws the ball.

Flash-backs should be done in past tense. Curtis right-now should be done in present tense.

I don't think present-tense is adding anything for this piece, though. You might try switching it all to past tense to avoid jerking the reader around.

Other than that, I really like this!

'They've sent me back to wrong my rights.'

WiredNun
May 9th, 2012, 06:29 PM
Personally I can't stand present tense stories. That being said, I'll try to ignore it. But you might want to change it.

OMG, it's not a present-tense story, it's a confused-tense story. This is huge, it's critical. Mixing tenses is a 99.9% no-no in prose, and has to be pretty clever in poetry. Pick one and stick with it, past is best.

Other than that, it's great! Hysterical! I love it, dahlink.

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 07:10 PM
Apart from it being in present tense, could you explain in kiddy language why it's all wrong? I struggle with this aspect of my writing so much.

I really appreciate all your feedback so far, and courtney: Thank you so much for all your hard work! I owe you one.

WiredNun
May 9th, 2012, 07:26 PM
It's not all wrong. It's all in mixed-up tenses.

Imagine a Ferrari painted wrong.

Fix the paint.

Fix the tenses. Make everything past tense. He did, he had, he thought, he threw. Not he does, he has, he thinks, he throws. You do that you got a great story.

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 07:35 PM
It's not all wrong. It's all in mixed-up tenses.



This is what I mean, I spent ages going through checking it. I can't spot any tense issues, what am I missing? I think I'm blind to this :(

TBK
May 9th, 2012, 08:21 PM
Revised:


“Go on, take it.”

“What if I get caught?”

“You won't! There's no one around. Just take it.”

“I don't know if...”

“You chicken?”

“No!”

“Take it then.”

“Fine!”

Urged on by Jimmy, Curtis reached out and grabs a Kit-Kat off the shelf. He thrust it into his pocket and looked around quickly to see if anyone spotted him. His stomach sank at the sight of a shop keeper striding down the isle toward him. Jimmy had disappeared without a word.

“Right young man,” barked the shopkeeper, “come with me.”


***

“Its wonderful what technology can do.” Said the smug shopkeeper, patting the top of a security monitor. On screen, a young boy pocketed an item from a shelf.

“Are you going to tell my mum?” asked Curtis.

“I think the police will probably do that for me. What’s your name boy?”

Curtis told him and hung his head, too ashamed to look up. A tear dropped into his lap.

The shop keeper sighed, felt a twinge of pity for Curtis. “Look at it this way kiddo; in another universe you didn’t do it and are enjoying the rest of your day in peace.”


***

“Can't you go a little faster?”

“I'm not going to speed," said Curtis.

“Everyone else does it,” Jimmy replied irritably.

“Well, in another universe I listen to your advice, break the speed limit, and kill us both in a horrible car crash.”

“Wow, that made you sound so--"

“Sensible?”

“Uptight."

Curtis checked his rear view mirror.

The car behind him had been making love to his exhaust pipe for the last three miles. He hovered his foot over the brake pedal. The urge to stomp on it, causing the guy behind to rear end him, was very tempting. An image of the irate driver crossed his mind. He let himself feel smug for teaching the person a lesson in road manners and relished the thought of claiming on the other persons insurance policy.

Then, a nagging doubt ruined his self-righteous fury. Causing a crash was wrong.

Instead of braking hard, he flicked the hazard lights on briefly to let the driver behind know he was too close. The car backed off a safe distance.

In another universe I really enjoyed that, Curtis thought.

***

They walked the short distance from the car and into the pub. A wall of sound enveloped them.

Jimmy elbowed his way toward the bar. It took Curtis longer, making sure he politely asked everyone to let him pass.

He arrived next to Jimmy and found him chatting to a girl who slumped over the bar struggling to keep her face out of a pool of spilt beer.

“Curt, meet Abby.” Said Jimmy and grinned slyly. Curtis eyed his friend with suspicion, knowing that the look on his friends face usually preceded a plan that landed him in trouble.

“Wsssip?” said Abby drunkenly. Her head lolled on her shoulders.

“Isn't she great?” said Jimmy excitedly. “Be a gent, introduce yourself!”

“She's drunk!”

“I know! Get a few more drinks down her and slip this into one.” He palmed a small tablet into Curtis's hand. “Leave it for half an hour then give her a ride home if you get my drift!” He nudged Curtis in the ribs and waggled his eyebrows lecherously.

With a little self loathing, Curtis had to admit the prospect did pluck at some basic desire. She was a very attractive girl and he could always blame it on the drink if...

Stick to your mantra! In another universe!

He pushed aside the excitement originating from his groin and spreading through his body like a hot flush, wished his alternate self all the best with his evening of debauchery and asked the bartender to book a taxi for one.

A sense of well being washed over him, the knowledge of doing the right thing giving him comfort. But curiosity was getting the better of him, so he allowed himself an imaginative glimpse into how the alternative decision would've turned out.

“Curtis?” said a voice behind him snapping him out of a dark train of thought.

Curtis looked around and saw a man wearing a long black trench coat and matching trilby. He snorted at the man’s outfit. “The godfather send you did he?”

“That's a good one. Very droll.” The man replied stoically “Come with me please.”

“And you are?”

“Inspector Walsh, IPD.” He said, flashing a badge clipped to his belt.

Curtis took a closer look at the emblem. “Inter-dimensional Police Department?” he read aloud.

“If you would step outside, we need to ask you a few questions.”

“Did Jimmy put you up to this?”

“I'm quite serious. Step outside please.”

“I ain't going anywhere.”

The Inspector sighed and pulled a ruler shaped object from his trench coat. “I don’t want to use this, but I will. Please step outside.”

Curtis eyed it suspiciously. “No.”

The Inspector slapped Curtis on the wrist with the object and it wrapped around tightly.

Shocked, Curtis tried to pull it off but it didn't come loose. It solidified. A feeling of fatigue washed over him and the room began to spin.

“You have the right to remain silent...” said the Inspector.

Curtis didn't hear the rest. His head hit the bar hard and he slipped into unconsciousness.


***

“Rise and shine sleepy head!”

Curtis lifted his head, pain flooded his senses. “Where am I?”

“Detention facility.”

He opened his eyes and gave them a rub. His head pounded. He looked up to find out who was talking to him. At first he thought he was looking into a mirror until the reflection sneezeed.

“OK, that was weird," said Curtis.

“You get used to it," replied his reflection.

As the fog of being unconscious slipped away, Curtis realised that his reflection was actually a real person that looked identical to him.

“So what you in for?” asked the double.

“What?”

“What crime did you commit?”

“I didn't commit a crime!”

The twin blinked in shock. “Oooh! You're him!”

“Him who?” Curtis gave a soft groan as his headache redoubled at the confusion.

“You're the reason we're all here," the double said, gesturing to his right.

Curtis looked down the corridor he sat in. It stretched out for miles and on benches against the wall were thousands of copies of himself.

“What the hell's going on?” he asked in alarm.

“We've all been arrested because of you. Now that you've been caught I expect we'll be let go pretty soon," said the double with satisfaction.


Curtis noticed that each copy, himself included, was wearing an orange boiler suit.

“I don't understand," said Curtis while massaging his temples.

“You're the guy that refuses to do anything wrong, right? Well, every time you decide to do the right thing an alternative version of you does the wrong thing and suffers the consequence.”

“What's that got to do with me? I'm not the one who did anything wrong.”

“Let me demonstrate,” The double leaned forward and slapped Curtis across the face as hard as he could.

A flash of fury shot through Curtis. The urge to strike back almost took over.

You've done it already! In another universe you smashed his face in!

There was a soft popping sound to his right. A new copy of himself materialised and looked around in surprise.

The double who slapped Curtis leaned toward the newcomer, “What you in for?”

“Bloodying up your face.”

“See?” the double said turning his attention back to Curtis.

Curtis rubbed his head some more. “Okay, let's assume for a moment that this isn't some dream. Why am I being punished if its not me that’s actually committing the crime?”

“Because you are the reason the rest of us are criminals. You refuse to take responsibility for your mistakes by not making any. By avoiding bad decisions someone else,” he gestured along the corridor, “has to make up for it. So now the multi-verse is riddled with super criminals, all of them you... Us.”

“What, assault counts as a super crime?” asked Curtis nodding toward the new comer.

“Not on its own, but combine it with every other crime you've committed--”

“I haven’t committed any!” Curtis cut in.

“You thought about it though. Every time you think of committing a crime you lock down your impulses and send it off for some other poor sod in another reality to deal with. For some reason you're able to avoid temptation better than the rest of us.”

“My head hurts, how do you even know all this?”

“One of us further down the line is a scientist, decided to stay in education when the rest of us went straight to work. He got chatting to one of the guards who explained it all. He's in for robbing a petrol station.”

“Have you been here long?”

“Couple of hours.”

“What did you do?”

“I'd rather not say. It wasn't my finest moment.”

Curtis racked his brain. If the double was the last person to be sent here before him, it must have been the last bad thought he had before getting arrested.

“You went through with it?” Curtis asked, aghast.

“You did, too... well you thought about it at least!"

“You're in quite a bit of trouble then.”

A sickly grin spread across the twin's face. “Wrong. Einstein over there reckons we are only here so they can redistribute the...” The twin paused mid-sentence and a look of puzzled concentration spread across his face, “The um, wrong doings? They will be shared out balancing out the other realities. You're the one that’s in trouble!”

“But I'm innocent!”

“We're the victims of your innocence.”

***

“Curtis Green, You have been found guilty of sixty seven thousand, four hundred and three counts of innocence. You are sentenced to re-live your life in a standard fashion. Failure to live a balanced lifestyle will result in your erasure from the multi-verse.” The judge's gavel smashed into the desk. Curtis blacked out.


***

He opened his eyes. He sat on a hard wooden chair staring at a TV screen where a young boy hastily slipped something into his pocket.

“Hey I remember this!” he exclaimed.

“I should hope so! Don't ever forget it either,” replied the shopkeeper.

Curtis jumped at the voice. He hadn’t realised someone was sitting opposite him.

“This is how it all started,” Curtis whispered to himself.

“Yup, this is how a lot of criminals start out--a little shop lifting here, casual violence there. Before you know it they're locked up for life.”

“I wasn't talking to you.”

The shopkeeper looked around the office. “Who were you talking to, then?”

“Me.” A sly grin crept onto Curtis' face. “They've sent me back to wrong my rights.”

“What?”

“I need to balance the sin I have created throughout the multi-verse!”

“Erm...”

“I mustn’t ignore my inner desires. Be it theft, adultery or...” he flicked his gaze toward the shop keeper, “Random acts of casual violence.”

The shop keeper looked at Curtis aghast. “Tell you what kiddo, I can see you have some issues and this little misunderstanding probably isn’t helping. Let's forget the whole thing, but I don't want to see you in my store again.”

Curtis stood up and leaned on the table thrusting his face into the shopkeeper's. “I'll be back in the morning to discuss a business proposal which you will accept if you don't want people thinking you're a pervert.”

***

A shadow settled over Curtis as he lounged in the deck chair on the lawn of his stately home.

He squinted up at the figure looking down at him.

“Nice place you have, here," said the stranger. He looked into the distance, hedge mazes, statues, peacocks and various other extravagances littered the grounds. At the edge of the ornamental garden were two body guards. They had already unslung their assault rifles and were hurrying toward Curtis and his unexpected visitor.

“Now that voice sounds familiar.” said Curtis sitting up to get a better look at the man in his garden. “What can I do for you, inspector?”




I fixed a few grammatical things, changed it all to past tense, and made some sentence placement modifications. I also took a few liberties: Removed 'ands', made some sentences more concise.

Most of the passive voice I left passive voice, though. I didn't want to go in and change it without your permission. If you'd like to change the passive voice, you can read up on it here: Grammar Girl : Active Voice Versus Passive Voice :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™ (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/active-voice-versus-passive-voice.aspx) .

Grammar Girl is my favorite hints/tips blog for composition. I recommend her to pretty much everybody! If she doesn't teach you enough, though, I recommend Googling passive/active voice and learning about it. You should also Google past/present tense and read through that.

Try these Grammar Girl links for tenses: Grammar Girl : Present Tense Books :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™ (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/present-tense-novel.aspx) , Grammar Girl : Is It OK to Switch Verb Tenses? :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™ (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/is-it-ok-to-switch-verb-tenses.aspx) , Grammar Girl : Mixing Verb Tenses :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™ (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/mixing-verb-tenses.aspx) .

WiredNun
May 9th, 2012, 08:28 PM
This is good but doesn't address the issue of why the author can't understand the difference between present and past tense. I don't think anyone can really teach 5th grade English through a forum.

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 08:56 PM
This is good but doesn't address the issue of why the author can't understand the difference between present and past tense. I don't think anyone can really teach 5th grade English through a forum.

LOL harsh! I can tell the difference between past and present tense. But what I'm struggling with is spotting where I mix it all up. I thought I did a good job of keeping it all in present tense, I can't spot (in the original) where I've gone wrong.

TBK, thank you for your hard work! Another forum member I owe one too. If you want the favour returned (Courtney included) PM me a link. Thanks to everyone! I love you loads, and in another universe I bought you all some cake.

Kyle R
May 9th, 2012, 09:05 PM
Urged on by Jimmy, Curtis reaches out and grabs a Kit-Kat off the shelf. He thrusts it into his pocket and looks around quickly to see if anyone spotted him. His stomach sinks at the sight of a shop keeper striding down the isle toward him. Jimmy had disappeared without a word.

“Right young man,” barked the shopkeeper, “come with me.”

“Its wonderful what technology can do.” Said the smug shopkeeper, patting the top of a security monitor. On screen, a young boy pockets an item from the shelf.

Hey Potty!

The red is past tense.

The blue is present tense.

Choose one or the other to tell your story in, but not both. :D

In general (with a few minor exceptions): If the verb ends with the letter "s", you're using present tense. If the verb ends with a "d", you're using past tense.

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 09:10 PM
Hey Potty!

The red is past tense.

The blue is present tense.

Choose one or the other to tell your story in, but not both. :D

In general (with a few minor exceptions): If the verb ends with the letter "s", you're using present tense. If the verb ends with a "d", you're using past tense.

Thanks Kyle! As always you speak my language (simpleton). Starting to get a clearer idea of where my mistakes lie.

Kyle R
May 9th, 2012, 09:12 PM
Woops, I had to clarify after reading it again.

I broken your tenses into whole sections to make it easier to see where you were going wrong. See my previous post again. Cheers!

Personally, I recommend going with past tense, but it's your call!

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 09:14 PM
At Jimmys insistance, Curtis reaches out and grabs a Kit-Kat off the shelf.

Would this be present tense? I thought that saying "urged on" was fine as Jimmy was urging Curtis before he stole the kitkat which I figured should have made it past tense.

Kyle R
May 9th, 2012, 09:18 PM
Yeah, your "Urged on" was fine, actually. Curtis is the subject of that sentence, and "urged on" isn't an action he's doing, it's (I believe) a "modifier".. Sometimes grammar can be confusing.

I don't think you've had this issue before. Is it because you're trying to use present tense, when you're normally used to past-tense? Is that where the confusion is coming from?

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 09:22 PM
I've always had problems with mixing up my tenses and struggle to notice the mistakes. But yea I think the main issues are becuase I was trying something new, I liked the pace of present tense In another story I wrote recently so I wanted to try it in this one. It seems to have failed however!

I'm seriously concidering going back to school on a night class in english or something.

Kyle R
May 9th, 2012, 09:28 PM
I've always had problems with mixing up my tenses and struggl(ing) to notice the mistakes... I was trying something new, I liked the pace of present tense In another story I wrote recently so I wanted to try it in this one.

Seems to me like you're pretty good with past tense. You spoke it naturally. :D

Maybe you should stick with that? Personally I consider past tense superior to present tense, but that's more a preference than anything else.

I'm sure there are books you can buy that would save you a lot of money from taking English courses, if you really felt you needed it! Or you could just keep posting and receiving helpful feedback from the users here. I bet you could learn it that way, too!

When I first started posting here, I didn't even speak English. It was all pure gibberish. "Gabb wom poo fla?" was my first thread title, actually. ;P

Potty
May 9th, 2012, 09:35 PM
"Gabb wom poo fla?" was my first thread title, actually. ;P

See now that makes perfect sence!

Love and hugs to everyone for being so patient and understanding. I'm probably going to turn it back into past tense as the majority rules!