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  1. #1
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    Questions About Story Writing....

    Hi, teachers:

    I wanna know if all stories have to be written in past tense? Can I write one in present tense?

    And another question. I was just listening to Harry Potter and the half-blood prince audiobook(read by Jim Dale) and had noticed that Mr. Dale had changed some parts of J.K. Rowling's original writing. He changed some past perfect tense parts into past tense.

    For example.

    J.K.Rowling's orginal:
    Fudge had pulled out his wand, conjured two large glasses full of amber liquid out of thin air, pushed one of them into the Prime Minister's hand, and drawn up a chair.
    (N.B.: this part is in reminiscence of a past event, I guess that's why Ms. Rowling wrote it in past perfect tense.)
    Jim Dale's recording:
    Fudge pulled out his wand, conjured two large glasses full of amber liquid out of thin air, pushed one of them into the Prime Minister's hand, and drew up a chair.
    I wonder which one sounds better and smoother to you native English speakers? And are both versions grammatically acceptable? (in terms of tense)

    And would love to know more about tenses in story writing. Thanks:)

    Regards,
    bird

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Story Writing....

    Quote Originally Posted by VividJailbird View Post
    Hi, teachers:

    I want to know if all stories have to be written in past tense? Can I write one in present tense?

    No they don't. You can write a story in any tense you like, as long as it makes sense. Many good writers have written short stories in the present tense.


    And another question. I was just listening to Harry Potter and the half-blood prince audiobook(read by Jim Dale) and had noticed that Mr. Dale had changed some parts of J.K. Rowling's original writing. He changed some past perfect tense parts into past tense.

    For example.

    J.K.Rowling's orginal:

    (N.B.: this part is in reminiscence of a past event, I guess that's why Ms. Rowling wrote it in past perfect tense.)
    Jim Dale's recording:

    I wonder which one sounds better and smoother to you native English speakers? And are both versions grammatically acceptable? (in terms of tense)
    Jim Dale's version sounds better on its own. But it's not possible to tell whether it's more correct grammatically without knowing the grammatical context of the surrounding sentences.


    And would love to know more about tenses in story writing. Thanks:)

    Regards,
    bird
    R.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: Questions About Story Writing....

    When a reader is recording a text, it can show up infelicitous use of language. It may be grammatically correct but it simply does not sound good when spoken out loud.

    All authors should read their work aloud to themselves.

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions About Story Writing....

    Many thanks, Mr. Raymott. I see that you've revised my "wanna" to "want to". And I wonder , is "wanna" very wrong? I'v heard many native English speakers say "wanna" in many formal occassions. (even in formal speeches, like on seminars)

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Story Writing....

    What people say in actual pronunciation and what should be written are two entirely different things.

    We also say things like "d'ya mind" instead of "do you mind" or "th'apple" instead of "the apple" but when you write them them, you write them as the real words, unless you are writing dialog (writing a story and showing how people speak, and even then it's only done to show something about the character).

    I'm pretty sure I'm not alone when I say that I find it irritating to reading things like "wanna" or "gonna" in anything but the most casual situations (or in dialog), and especially frustrating in ESL forums where people are trying to learn to use standard English. (I feel the same about "can u correct this" or "i'd like ur opinion.")

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Story Writing....

    Quote Originally Posted by VividJailbird View Post
    Many thanks, Mr. Raymott. I see that you've revised my "wanna" to "want to". And I wonder , is "wanna" very wrong? I'v heard many native English speakers say "wanna" in many formal occassions. (even in formal speeches, like on seminars)
    Yes, it's very wrong. It's annoying.
    OK, people might say "wanna", but it's spelt "want to" unless you're doing a phonemic transcription. If we all started writing English the way we thought it sounded
    , or in idiosyncratic ways, wi wood sune looze awl abileti 2 cmunik8.


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