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With these thoughts, I closed my eyes. All I could hear now was the hooting of an owl, and the leaves rustling on the ground outside. These/those/their sound/sounds gradually soothed me--and before I knew it, my mind drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Should I use these, those, or their in the sentence above?

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Why not:... outside, which gradually... –  Noah Jul 30 '13 at 19:51
    
Since you chose the past tense (was, soothed, drifted), I would go with "those" sounds. Unless you're now talking in the present tense, remembering the sounds anew, "these" sounds odd. :-) –  Kristina Lopez Jul 30 '13 at 19:59
    
Or just "The sound..." –  KitFox Jul 30 '13 at 20:44
3  
This question is off topic here (writing advice) but might be a good question for [writers]. –  MετάEd Jul 30 '13 at 22:18
    
@KitFox There were two sounds - the owl & the leaves. "The sounds ..." [plural] maybe. –  TrevorD Jul 30 '13 at 22:18
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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, MετάEd, TrevorD, p.s.w.g, Brian Hooper Jul 31 '13 at 7:29

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think the tense is strained through the whole thing.

I would want to write something like:

With those thoughts, I closed my eyes. All I heard was the hooting of an owl, and the leaves rustling on the ground outside. The sounds gradually soothed me and I quickly drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep.

In other words, I would write around it like the above comments.

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