19 June, 2011

Past Perfect Progressive

Past perfect progressive tense describes a past, ongoing action that was completed before some other past action. This tense is formed by using had been and the present perfect of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).
from http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/tenses.html#past%20perfect%20progressive

Does that make any sense to you? Do you remember learning about that verb tense in school? I sure don't and, as an English major in college, I've had four more years of English classes than most. Regardless, Cassidy is chock full of Had Beens and one of the chores I've set myself in this third draft editing is eliminating at least 70% of them!

I am by no means alone in this: my friend Peter is running into the same issue, as are countless other authors - no doubt. It's funny, I don't find myself talking in the past perfect progressive (hardly perfect, by the way) in daily conversation but writing seems so much more formal a conversation and therefore, apparently, in need of tenses that are not commonly taught in most English classes. My goal in this third draft will be to give Cassidy a more daily conversational tone and less of a formal, elevated (snobby writer) tone.

This draft is going slowly for now as I split my free time in helping my husband with his business accounting but as soon as I can get that to a weekly maintenance stage, I intend to tackle this imperfect, non-progressive language issue along with all the other notes I have amassed (thank you, Mel!) and hope to have a completed draft within a month. And with my hubby strongly considering a solo jaunt* to Phish's Superball IX festival in NY for the weekend of July 4th, my chances increase considerably!

*I have to keep myself excited over the possibilities of completing the third draft in those days home alone to avoid the tears that come from having to miss a guaranteed good time with friends that long weekend. Blame moronic American work standards for that piece of silliness and I will take it as motivation to remove myself from that silliness as soon as humanly possible!