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I found this question already, but it doesn't quite answer my question, and examples I got from Googling were typically simple and didn't exist within a paragraph structure.

Here is the situation. I'm rewriting several sections of a book. These were originally written in present tense, but for stylistic reasons I want to convert them to past tense. In general this is a painful process, graceless process. However I've encountered one particular section which is especially problematic.

The situation is that the main character is waking up after a hellish night (happening in the present) and then the narrator goes on to describe the night's events (which happened already). I'm converting this to past tense, so waking up is now in the past, and the night's events are further in the past.

The simplest form my question can take, then, is ``Does everything in the recountment of the night's events need to be in past perfect?" That is, does everything need to be pushed back further, or do we merely need to establish that we're talking about something that happened further in the past.

The first paragraph is what was originally written. Please excuse any other grammatical issues that are surely present, I'm still editing it.

As mornings tend to do, this one came sooner than Clare had wanted. As expected, the storm had pissed all over her during the night, the bridge offering little protection with the ever shifting winds, and she was unable to sleep due to constantly feeling as if she might drown. Despite having a warm summer, the night’s rain was still cool. Worse, as Clare had feared, she had used too much of her magic the day before, leaving her woefully unprepared to warm herself. The rain had simply washed away her body heat, and there was little she could do to stop it.

I tried to ``fix" this, but I gave up. Everything I try just looks worse. I am extremely frustrated and lost.

  • "As mornings tend to do, this one came sooner than Clare wanted. As expected, the storm had pissed all over her during the night, the bridge offering little protection from the ever shifting winds. And, she was unable to sleep due to the constant feeling she might drown. Despite having a warm summer, the night’s rain was still cool. Worse, as Clare had feared, she had used too much of her magic the day before, leaving her woefully unprepared to warm herself. The rain had simply washed away her body heat, and there was little she could do to stop the flow." there is a start – J. Taylor Feb 18 '18 at 2:27
  • Aside from miscellaneous mistakes and stylistic choices, the only difference I can see is that you actually removed my usage from past perfect from the first sentence. Are you suggesting that I'm over thinking the problem? – Nero gris Feb 18 '18 at 3:13
  • I was only suggesting one solution to the time issue, which I believe was the problem. The first sentence establishes the time frame. You should write the paragraph as suits you. The time of narration is past, other events before that past, except the flow of heat from her, which continued during the narration. – J. Taylor Feb 18 '18 at 3:21

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