Active voice, passive voice
about this? Well you're not alone. Most writers, even professional
writers, struggle to understand the difference between active
and passive voices. In fact, I'd been writing professionally
for years before I even knew there was such a thing as
or passive writing.
Like a lot of modern writers, I work by feel.
Instinct. Nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives; it was all so much
more blah. You might as well talk to me about crotchets
and quavers and semibreves when I'm trying to crank up a Hendrix
riff on my Stratocaster—meaning that the conventions of music
aren't as important as the music itself.
Ditto for the conventions of writing.
In fact, the conventions of writing often get
in the way. They tie your head up in the minutiae and technicalities
of what you're doing rather than allowing you to just ... well,
The language keeps jerking you back to the rules,
when at times you need to forget the rules.
Most of us are pretty badly educated. At least,
the nature and style of education has changed markedly over
the past few decades. English grammar, for instance, is still
taught in schools, but not in the way it was taught in the dark
ages of education when you could be soundly thrashed in front
of the class simply for forgetting how to conjugate your verbs
(whatever the hell that means).
But understanding the names of the nuts and bolts
of writing isn't vital. Not for everyone, anyway. That said,
there is a case for keeping your eye on a few of the mechanics,
and active and passive voices are worth a closer look.
Want to read more?
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Meanwhile, here are
some of my You Tube videos that might be of interest to you.
Hope you enjoy them.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about dialogue
Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary
Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.
Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.
Links for writers
& Editors. Here's where you can check out the credentials
of literary agents and publishers. A must for any writer.
Helpful resource for the creative community. Articles, links
Writing Blog. Lots of useful posts on all aspects of writing,
both for print and online, plus a guest post for anyone who
wants to make a contribution. Check it out.