Posted by: anitanolan | June 17, 2012

Gerunds

Gerunds are -ing words. You can use them, but their overuse gets old–fast–and they often accompany the weak was or were.

But see how much more active they become when you eliminate the was or were and the -ing.

was fanning  —   fanned

were running  —  ran

kept glancing  —  glanced

are trickling  — trickled

Another problem with gerunds is that they can lead to the impossible. For instance, this classic example from Self-Editng for Fiction Writers:

Disappearing into my tent, I changed into fresh jeans.

So limit your gerunds, know why you are using them and make sure they are possible.

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