I was watching TV when suddenly the ground began to shake. My heart beat fast because I was scared. The shake did not stop as I had wished, so I decided to leave the building. I jumped off the couch, took my cell phone, and rushed out of the apartment and ran down the stairs as fast as I could. By the time (When) I reached the ground floor, the quake had stopped.
(“had wished”也可以用简单过去式，因为，它和stop必没有明显的时间差。相较下，”had stopped”这动作就明显比’reach’还要早发生。)
I was watching TV when suddenly the ground began to shake. We had already had a small quake earlier that day. The expert said on TV that we might have another one later that night, so I had been prepared. Still, my heart beat fast because I was scared. The shake did not stop….
(用时间副词“earlier that day”将故事带回更早时间点，所以，稍早的地震就用”had had”，而心理准备则用”had been prepared”，之后，时间拉回故事发生当下，主要动作也回到简单过去式。)
当然，也可以将第一和第二个句子合成一句，用 ‘when’ 连贯两个事件：
We had already had a small quake earlier in the evening WHEN suddenly the ground began to shake again.
1. Molly and I were having dinner when…
2. I was trying to find out where I was on the map on a busy Tokyo street when…
3. On a crowded MRT carriage, Judy was thinking about how to say to her boyfriend that she loved him no more when…