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02 March 2010 @ 04:05 pm
Need some grammar help from all you smart grammar people...  

I need some grammar help and I made the mistake of posting this to Yahoo Answers first. God, I love some of the people over there...

Okay, I'm doing an initial edit of my novel (which I feel I should avoid since it's not even done, but find myself doing it anyway) and I am wondering if this is grammatically correct. The novel is in first person, so it is in past tense. I am worried about the last sentence because it begins with the word 'knowing'. I don't know if it is okay to open a sentence in first person past tense with a verb like that.

Editing messes with my head because all the grammar rules get mixed up after reading too much. But I want to edit this properly before sending it to an actual editor because I don't want to look like a moron. I could have sworn I had seen people use grammar like this in first person past tense published stories before, but I could just be remembering things wrong. I figure if I get this figured out now, I'll avoid doing it in the future. I'd rather have to go back and re-edit 160 page now than add more mistakes to fix later.

'My eyelids fluttered against the cotton of the pillow, waking me from a much needed sleep. Although it had only been for a few hours, to my best estimate, I was thankful for it. I crawled out from under his arm and slid off the side of the bed. He was still asleep, probably better than he had been before. Knowing that I had fallen asleep would have put his mind at ease for at least a little while.'

Thank you!

Tags: ,
I'm: Work
I feel: confusedconfused
I'm listening to: Long Train Runnin' by The Doobie Brothers
silver_x_cross: Stock: notebooksilver_x_cross on March 2nd, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
I may be wrong, so please don't use mine as the only opinion, but to me the sentence looks fine as it is. I used to work as a magazine editor for a while so the majority of my work was technical pieces, but some interviews would be in the first person and would still be edited to correct the grammar- I certainly would have accepted a sentence that started with verb like that. The sentence flows well within the paragraph and I think it works.
Lady Manson: Buffy - dru's mineladymanson on March 3rd, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
turquoisetumultturquoisetumult on March 2nd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
That looks okay to me. I don't see why you would doubt yourself about it.
Lady Manson: Buffy - fred bookladymanson on March 3rd, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Oh, it's easy to doubt things when I read them repeatedly and start worrying what an editor would think. :)
Bre: Random Daily Struggle of a fanfic writerbre2004 on March 3rd, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I, personally, think that's fine. It's the first characer projecting her thoughts on what she thinks he might be thinking about her, at least that's my interpretation. I would have read that and kept on going, it does flow right along with the rest of what you posted. Of course, it's been my experience, that it depends on the person who's reading/editing, lol, and what they think is "proper" grammar. But I think it works wonderfully. :)

And I am super intrigued. :)
Lady Manson: film - milk alexladymanson on March 3rd, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! I do adore your icon, btw. :)
Bre: Friends Ross' Unagibre2004 on March 4th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Isn't it appropriate for any and all writing? :P
holypotatoes1holypotatoes1 on March 3rd, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Now I'm not a genius when it comes to grammar but the way you have the sentence before the one you're talking about it has a comma splice. You should be able to change that period to another comma and lowercase the "knowing" solving the problem of whether or not it's okay to start a sentence with it.

Oh and in the part "mind at ease for at least for a little while" you might want to get rid of one of the "for"s. ;)
Lady Manson: 70sshow - Donna smileladymanson on March 3rd, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
Oh and in the part "mind at ease for at least for a little while" you might want to get rid of one of the "for"s. ;)
These are the things that happen when I copy and paste too much, lol.

As far as the commas, I'll have to change that. I go kind of crazy with commas on a first draft.
holypotatoes1holypotatoes1 on March 3rd, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Haha, I used to go comma crazy as well and then I was always yelled at for having too many commas so I stopped using so many, only to be yelled at once again for not having enough. Sometimes you just can't win. Comma's are a pain in the ass, it's that simple.
Lady Manson: misc - gen ever so prettyladymanson on March 3rd, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
I particularly like when I go through the writing a second time and go, "Why did I think it was a good idea to put commas THERE?"

Edited at 2010-03-03 04:18 am (UTC)
holypotatoes1holypotatoes1 on March 3rd, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Agreed. Sometimes the things you put in there make you go WTF was I thinking. Sort of like when you type a random word that apparently had popped into your head when you were writing and you go back and reread what you wrote and are just utterly confused. Like, why did I write "banana" when I meant "president"?! What the hell was I thinking?

I think the problem with comma's specifically though is that when we were kids we were taught to put them wherever there was a pause in the sentence, now we find out that there are actually RULES (I know crazy) for them which tend to make things more confusing. I'm all for putting them in whenever there is a pause though.