Active voice, passive voice


Confused 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 active
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, groove.

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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Mr Edit YouTube videos


Meanwhile, here are some of my You Tube videos that might be of interest to you. Hope you enjoy them.

You Tube video for writers and authors


Mr Edit. Let's talk about dialogue




You Tube literary agent video help


Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary agent.




You Tube video - how to write fiction


Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.




You Tube video for authors and novelists


Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.





Links for writers


Preditors & Editors. Here's where you can check out the credentials of literary agents and publishers. A must for any writer.


Creative Helps. Helpful resource for the creative community. Articles, links and tips.


Nick Daws' 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.





Creative writing




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Zoë Sharp, thriller writer

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Jeff Kleinman, literary agent

Jeff Kleinman, New York literary agent, talks shop

Creme de la Crime logo

Crème de la Crime:
An interview with Lynne Patrick, publisher and managing editor of a smallerbut essentialBritish publishing house.





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