One of the most common problems I see in my Theme of Absence submissions comes in the opening sentence. It’s the unnecessary use of past progressive tense and immediately takes the story down the path of telling instead of showing.
Don’t do this: “C-3PO was running away toward the escape pod.”
Instead, do this: “C-3PO ran toward the escape pod.”
Ignoring the fact that C-3PO doesn’t actually run, think about this example for a second.
In the first sentence, the author is telling the reader what C-3PO was doing at the beginning of the story.
In the next sentence, the author throws the reader directly into the action, showing what is going on in the opening scene.
So why not take out one of your WIPs and look at that opening scene. If you’re using the word “was”, ask yourself if it is really necessary.