Friday, October 9, 2009

Passive Voice

Finished Chapter 24 and started 25; 43,110 word count

Writer's tip:
Passive voice is less engaging than active. Writers always want the reader as engaged in the story as possible.
I changed this sentence:
Odidoddex sent out his army, and all the best animals were confiscated.
Odidoddex sent out his army and confiscated all the best animals.

The first part of the first sentence is fine. Odidoddex actively sends out the army. In the second sentence, the subject animals receive the action. If I had said the animals ran like crazy to get away, the animals would be actively running. As it is, they just stand around and get confiscated. In the second example Odidoddex is again being active. Or rather his army is, by his command.
A passive voice sentence can be used once in a while, but it is better to rearrange when possible.
Bonus tip:
A better construction for that second sentence is:
Odidoddex sent out his army to confiscate all the best animals.


  1. This reminder was appreciated by me. :P

  2. I definitely struggle with this, so thanks for the reminder. Somehow, using the passive voice just comes so easily for me. Then I go through the grammar check and discover there are a million sentences I should rework. However, I'm one of those writers who likes to do rewriting in large chunks... okay, I'll just be honest and say I'm a procrastinator. =)