Starting words with participles -ing and -ed words


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Thread: Starting words with participles -ing and -ed words

  1. #1

    Starting words with participles -ing and -ed words

    Here is a blog I wrote and thought I would share! I am super proud of the research I did. Enjoy!

    Definition of a past participle

    : word formed from a verb to express completed action, that is traditionally one of the principal parts of the verb, traditionally used in English in the formation of perfect tenses in the active voice and of all tenses in the passive voice.
    Definition of a present participle

    : expresses present action in relation to the time expressed by the finite verb in its clause and that in English formed with the suffix -ing and is used in the formation of the progressive tenses
    In short? Take a verb, conjugate it, and add ING or ED. BUT they can also function like nouns (gerunds) or adjective.

    Why can you not start sentences with ING or ED?

    Grammatically you can, style wise...not so much. Editors demand no sentence starts with an ING or ED verb, noun or adjective. Therefore, style police, reviewers like myself, and bloggers demand the same. Is it grammatically incorrect to start with an ING or ED word? NO. If we buck the old myths of starting sentences with prepositions, why is this a hard and fast rule?
    Most authors do not know how to write the sentence correctly, and most participles are progressive or passive. Never write a book in the passive or progressive voice (be verbs like, be, were, was, have) always active! Therefore, who wants to wade through the rare correct use of ING adjectives and gerunds starting sentences? Already, we do not want to see ING verbs in the meat of sentences.

    Examples:
    Verb present participle: Shooting stars danced across the sky.
    Noun (gerund) participle: Sneezing exhausts Steve.
    Adjective participle: Tempting cookie platters salivated my mouth.

    What is the hang-up with starting a sentence with an ING verb? Wait for it... dangling participles created by pesky prepositions and pronouns.

    • Wrong: Sitting on the hill, the sun disappeared behind the cloud bank.
    • Right: Sitting on the hill, I watched the sun disappeared behind the cloud bank.
    • Wrong: Covered in sticky honey, I licked the candy. (OH, REALLY! kinky)
    • Right: I licked the candy covered in sticky honey. (Too many clauses are not good so we eliminated a clause.)
    • The sun did not directly complete the verb to disappear. The sun is not a magician.


    Here is the source link: http://www.marosabooks.net/2019/09/s...s-yes-you-can/
    M. A. Rosa
    Hidden Content

  2. #2
    I really don't enjoy this topic. But it's so important. And I want to master it.

    Starting a sentence with a participial phrase would be very common, right? I was going to do an example, but I see I already did. I am not sure how you resolve that.

    I am a fan of the progressive form of the verb. The regular form is stronger, I admit, but I like the accuracy. Can we argue about that?

    Everyone uses passive sometimes, even you, so that's going to be hard to criticize. Yes, active is stronger.
    My website (Hidden Content ) has good essays on starting a book and using metaphoricals.

  3. #3
    To me the big issue with starting with an ~ing verb is I see a lot of people start a lot of sentences with the present participle. Eg:

    "Sitting on the hill, I watched the sun go down."

    It's absolutely fine. Nothing wrong with it. But then when two sentences later I see it again:

    "Sitting on the hill, I watched the sun go down. Its corona was ringed with flames of orange-red. Lifting up my gaze to the sky, I lay back. Sipping on my drink, I gasped as the cool liquid made its way down my throat."

    It just makes for somewhat too-easy writing that often - as in the "sipping on my drink" case - means, in effect, "sipping on my drink, I sipped on my drink". When I ready that, I know the writer is trying to fill space, to pad out word count and sound like they are definitely busy writing. The story vanishes and all I see is a writer sweating over their prose.

  4. #4
    I think such phrases are good for 1) varying sentence structure, and 2) showing that multiple events are happening at the same time. Such things need to be written from time to time--if nothing else to break up the monotony because the unvaried active or stative string results in truly boring prose.

    "I sipped my drink and watched the sun set behind the hill. Flames of orange-red ringed the sun. I lay back and lifted my gaze to the sky."

    These are all about as active as I could get them while using the same words, yet the repetitive structure would certainly going to yank on some nerves if the story continued.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    I think such phrases are good for 1) varying sentence structure, and 2) showing that multiple events are happening at the same time. Such things need to be written from time to time--if nothing else to break up the monotony because the unvaried active or stative string results in truly boring prose.

    "I sipped my drink and watched the sun set behind the hill. Flames of orange-red ringed the sun. I lay back and lifted my gaze to the sky."

    These are all about as active as I could get them while using the same words, yet the repetitive structure would certainly going to yank on some nerves if the story continued.
    You are right - it is absolutely good for that, but it's just one tool for varying structure. Too often I see writers stopping at a few methods. Why not use that moment to explore narrative or character voice - what would the POV char make of that scene? Why not take a moment to abuse some grammar in the name of pace? Why not twist the words into even more shapes?

    "I sipped my drink. What a sight that sun was, its flaming orange-red disc setting behind the hill. Why, you couldn't hardly blame those old Romans for believing it was a chariot of the gods drawn by ancient horses. It hurt my eyes after a while, to gaze upon it like that. Fat old sun, indeed. Laying back, I looked at the sky."

    I mean, yes, it's more words, and yes there's things invoked repeatedly but to me that just ... reads more, ahem, "interestingly".


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marosabooks View Post
    Editors demand no sentence starts with an ING or ED verb, noun or adjective. Therefore, style police, reviewers like myself, and bloggers demand the same. Is it grammatically incorrect to start with an ING or ED word? NO. If we buck the old myths of starting sentences with prepositions, why is this a hard and fast rule?
    Wait. What?

    You can have:

    Thinking about the ride home, I put on my coat.

    You are able to think and put on a coat at the same time. This isn't a dangling modifier. You only don't use progressive aspect when it's a dangling modifier. I'm kind of hoping I've just read the post wrong and too quickly -- because it is perfectly fine to use progressive aspect in fiction when you're not dangling it about.

    expresses present action in relation to the time expressed by the finite verb in its clause and that in English formed with the suffix -ing and is used in the formation of the progressive tenses
    In short: progressive aspect = ongoing action, the tense is found in the main cluase:

    Thinking of cathing the bus, I pulled on my coat.

    Aspect stays the same no matter the tense:

    Thinking of catching the bus, I pull on my coat. (present tense)
    Thinking of catching the bus, I pulled on my coat. (simple past)
    Thinking of catching the bus, I had pulled on my coat. (past perfect).
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  7. #7
    Your examples are all grammatically correct, but it is the style editors force.
    M. A. Rosa
    Hidden Content

  8. #8
    I agree. I use ProWritingAid that tells me when too many sentences start with participles or other words.
    M. A. Rosa
    Hidden Content

  9. #9
    It is a matter of style vs grammar
    M. A. Rosa
    Hidden Content

  10. #10
    For progressive versus regular form:

    He squeezes my hand and tells me he loves me.
    He is squeezing my hand and telling me he loves me.

    Those have two different meanings. Right? The second suggests simultaneity, the first is likely to be read as sequential. The first is stronger, but what if I want the meaning of the second?

    He stands in the corner
    He is standing in the corner.

    The first allows something like: He rises from his chair and stands in the corner.

    He lives in Kansas
    He is living in Kansas.

    I think the second one contains a hint that it might not be permanent. Not sure though.

    I have happily read books that chose power over accuracy, and I have happily read books that choose accuracy over power. I have decided I want accuracy, but that fits my goals.

    This is just dipping into the topic of -ing versus regular verbs; I have become unhappy with the advice to always choose the stronger verb.
    My website (Hidden Content ) has good essays on starting a book and using metaphoricals.

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