Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. I’ll point them out. They’ll come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments. Add comments with your favorite editing fixes.
A gerund is a verb that ends in -ing and functions as a noun.
Too many gerunds make your writing passive. You take a wonderful verb, attach it to the passive is or was and water down the energy of your action. Here’s how to fix it:
- Wrong: He was learning how to ice skate
- Right: He learned how to ice skate, or He took ice skating classes
- Wrong: He was looking out the window
- Right: He looked out the window
- Wrong: He was running down the street
- Right: He ran down the street
- Wrong: He was asking where the book store was
- Right: He asked where the book store was
All gerunds aren’t bad or I would have said: Delete the gerund. Just watch them.
To subscribe to weekly writers tips, click here.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.