Are you inging too?

I was editing away and I realized that there are three sticky little letters that often find their way into my writing. So I thought it might be an issue, after some research and revision I fount that it is. adding ING to the end of words indicates that I’ve switched tense and can set the wrong tone or voice even.

When ing is in use, it is likely that the sentence is in past tense when I probably mean it to be present.

For example:

Sasha was walking to work.
Sasha walked to work.

I try to replace –ing with –ed. Walking becomes Walked. Not rocket science. This is not to say all –ing words are bad or unnecessary, if I mean to be talking in past tense, then I’ll leave them be unless I am writing too much in the past tense. I do try to avoid that.

Let’s see –ing in a bigger example or two: 

Sasha was walking to work when a man stepping in front of her stuck his foot out. Tripping she fell down scraping her knee and wrist. (26)

Eeep. I may have actually wrote that that way. Blech. Okay, tidy up time.

As Sasha walked to work, a man stepped in front of her. She tripped on his foot, scraping her knee and wrist. (22)

Well how about Cal? Let’s see what he’s up to with his –ings.

Cal was holding his breath and reaching for his gun. Popping the thumb brake and he started pulling the gun out from the holster. He had raised his gun up and was aiming it at the man in the shadows. (40)

Oooh repetition and ing all in one go. Do you think he has a gun? The reader isn’t dumb and ick to the ing’s. That was gross to read, way too choppy.

Cal held his breath as he reached for his gun. He popped the thumb break, pulled it out of the holster and aimed at the man in the shadows. (29)

 My advice about ing.
Take a good look at them and determine if they are they necessary? Probably not. Is it creating choppy reading or the wrong tense? Then get rid of them.


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21 thoughts on “Are you inging too?

  1. I shouldn’t be laughing but I am and it’s probably because I can just imagine me finding the ings in my writing. 🙂 I love how you make me think about possibly needing to pay more attention. Thanks, Sheryl! As usual. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is the second archdemon of writing, right behind adverbs. It feels like when I started to kill of the adverbs in my early writings, the ings started sneaking their way in. And now I die a little inside whenever I see them in my prose

    Liked by 1 person

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