Here is my first mini-critique. My thanks to Manny for his submission of the opening paragraph to one of his short stories.
Henry Fowler found himself standing in front of a large warehouse located on a pier near Fishermen’s Wharf. It’s 3 a.m. according to the clock on the Ferry building; the streets are empty. Fog so thick foghorns are bellowing out their warnings. Henry stares at the building trying to figure out why he is drawn to it, it’s as if a magnet is pulling at him and he is unable to resist its pull.
Deletion = yellow, Replacement/Addition = green, Comments = purple
Henry Fowler found himself standing stood This is a variation of the progressive tense. Using the simple past makes the action more apparent. in front of a large warehouse located on a pier near Fishermen’s Wharf. It’s It was Stick with the past tense. 3 three a.m. according to the clock on the Ferry building; Change the semi-colon to a period. This may be more of a judgment call, but to me the second part isn't closely related enough to the first part to be joined to it with a semi-colon, although an "and" to join the two would work well. the streets are were empty.Flip this sentence around so we know what he's looking at to read the time. Or, better yet, add action to the sentence with something like, "He glanced at the clock on the Ferry building. Three a.m. The Fog is so thick foghorns are bellowing bellow Another example of the progressive tense. out their warnings. Henry stares stared Keep it all in the same tense. You started in the past tense, so keep it past throughout the story. at the building, Do you mean the Ferry building? You might want to describe it here. Add a comma before this participial phrase. trying to figure out why he is drawn it drew him 1) To be consistent, this should stay in the past tense, so "is" should be "was". 2) This is passive voice. Flip it around to make it active. to it, it’s as if a magnet is pulling pulled 1) This is the present tense rather than the past. 2) It is also the progressive tense. Use the simple past instead. at him and he is was unable to resist its pull.
Sample revised edition:
Henry Fowler stood in front of a large warehouse located on the pier near Fishermen's Wharf. According to the clock on the Ferry building, it was three a.m. and the streets were empty. The fog was so thick foghorns bellow out their warnings. Henry stared at the building, trying to figure out why it drew him as if a magnet pulled him. He was unable to resist its pull.
Or since most of your verbs were in the present tense, you could switch it to the present. Either will work as long as you're consistent.
Manny, I like the way you create the mood and setting with the fog and the empty street and I love the way the last sentence leaves me wondering what the pull is. It makes me want to read on to find out what draws him to the building. Most of the changes I suggested are common grammatical mistakes. You simply need to get used to what they look like so you can spot them as you review your work, then fix them.
Below are links to posts about a couple of the common errors mentioned in this mini-critique that I have discussed in articles on this blog. They delve into the issues and how to correct them in more detail.