Topic: -ing verbs

I've received feedback that -ing verbs should be avoided whenever possible. Here's an example:

Alexander raced from behind the desk to come to Joseph’s aid, but Cain elbowed Joseph’s father in the face, driving him to the ground, dazed and bleeding.

In the above, the word 'driving' can be replaced with 'which drove.' One word replaced by two.

Is this a common rule of thumb to follow?

2 (edited by Charles_F_Bell 2016-12-18 01:27:41)

Re: -ing verbs

Norm d'Plume wrote:

I've received feedback that -ing verbs should be avoided whenever possible. Here's an example:

Alexander raced from behind the desk to come to Joseph’s aid, but Cain elbowed Joseph’s father in the face, driving him to the ground, dazed and bleeding.

In the above, the word 'driving' can be replaced with 'which drove.' One word replaced by two.

Is this a common rule of thumb to follow?

future TNBW prize winner -
Alexander started, racing behind the desk, coming to Joseph’s aid, with Cain elbowing Joseph’s father in the face, driving him to the ground, being dazed and bleeding.

There an illogic to the grammar of your sentence which forces four characters together in an unclear way: A races to help J but C elbows J'sf.    You obviously must have J and J'sf in the action of the previous sentence doing something untoward Cain.

Re: -ing verbs

While in the minority on this, I'm a huge proponent for. In an action sequence, I like how it can show the results of that action in graphic detail to the reader.
For example: My sword arched out, slicing off his head and sending it rolling on the floor until it ended in a red squish up against the wall. For me it's style choice. You just don't want to use it as crutch, like you do with which or that clauses.

Re: -ing verbs

Norm d'Plume wrote:

I've received feedback that -ing verbs should be avoided whenever possible. Here's an example:

Alexander raced from behind the desk to come to Joseph’s aid, but Cain elbowed Joseph’s father in the face, driving him to the ground, dazed and bleeding.

In the above, the word 'driving' can be replaced with 'which drove.' One word replaced by two.

Is this a common rule of thumb to follow?

"ing" verbs are passive and don't carry as much of a punch as an active verb. How about: Alexander raced from behind the desk to help Joseph. "Cain elbowed Josephs' father and drove him to the ground, dazed and bleeding."

Re: -ing verbs

Norm d'Plume wrote:

I've received feedback that -ing verbs should be avoided whenever possible. Here's an example:

Alexander raced from behind the desk to come to Joseph’s aid, but Cain elbowed Joseph’s father in the face, driving him to the ground, dazed and bleeding.

In the above, the word 'driving' can be replaced with 'which drove.' One word replaced by two.

Is this a common rule of thumb to follow?

I disagree. If something is happening (which happens?) at the same time as something else, then the "ing" verb is necessary. It just sounds better.