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Imperfect Past

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

Krista asked about my “had” hatred and what that entailed.

About 3 years ago or so, I stumbled across something Miss Snark said about hating “hads.” I believe it was one of her Crap-o-Meters and how she hated all of the “backstory” up front, but somehow that hatred of poor “had” lodged into my brain and didn’t want to come out. I stripped nearly all the past perfect verb tenses out of my writing. Even though I knew it technically wasn’t the right tense, it was something my brain started doing as I wrote (not something I edited out later).

Now, I’m trying to break that habit and write any little introspection of the past or mini-flash-back of past history in the correct past perfect tense FIRST so I don’t have to go back through and add all those pesky hads. It’s been an amazingly hard bad habit to break.

For example, this is a little snippet from Beautiful Death before I fixed it:

As if it were yesterday, she saw her sister slung over an alien

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