In Writing, don’t be a Passivist.

I found an interesting article written by a friend who is an editor on avoiding the Passive Voice in writing called Battling Passive Voice in Your Writing. (Note: the article did not deal with redundancy, so no comments about it here!)

A quick paragraph from the article is here:

If you’re understanding what passive voice is, then it should be pretty easy to understand that using it in your story significantly deflates its energy. When your subject is just waiting around for something to be done to it, it isn’t very interesting. People like to read about the thing that’s taking action. When “Mike shot the bank robber,” he becomes a hero, but when “the bank robber was shot by Mike,” he’s just another statistic. Bottom line, if you want to put your readers to sleep, write in passive voice; if you want them skipping bedtime to flip more pages, avoid it.

So let me ask you: Is passive voice in your writing a problem? Have you noticed it? How does this article speak to you. I had never thought about the idea that passive voice highlights the recipient of the action, not the one doing things. Very thoughtful article!


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