I've been reading some books and been confused about the verb tense used in the sentences, for examples:
1: But I knew Lefty’s dumb sense of humor. “Nice try, Lefty,” I said, and followed him through the doorway.
Question: why couldn't use following instead?
2: I took another step into the room. And as I did, a dark figure stepped toward me.
Question: why couldn't use stepping instead?
- It’s a mirror, dork!” Lefty said, and started to laugh.
Question: why couldn't use starting instead?
- which functions are those verbs being used in the examples above?
Please help to advise, Thanks a lot!