July 4, 2017

Are you Passive or Action Driven?

By Susan ReichertEditor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine 

In our world we have passive people and action driven people. 

A passive person tries to avoid conflict, where an action person likes to get things done.

In our writing world, (in most English sentences) there is active voice and passive voice.
Active–– the person or thing is responsible for the action. Passive–– the subject is acted upon.
How many times when you are writing your stories, do you see the little green line and clicking on it, find it says your sentence is passive? Do you read over the sentence, and find a way to take it from passive into active or do you leave it?
In searching for some good examples, I came across a website called . This website offers numerous examples of many things that are helpful to writers, so check it out.
Here is a list of passive and active examples that are on their website. Hope you find them as amusing as I did. .
Here are a few I liked:
I ran the obstacle course in record time. (Active)
The obstacle course was run by me in record time. (Passive)
The crew paved the entire stretch of highway. (Active)
The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew. (Passive)
The forest fire destroyed the whole suburb. (Active)
The whole suburb was destroyed by the forest fire. (Passive)

If you look at each sentence, you see the Active sentence is tighter–also shorter.

I am not going to say there aren’t times you may want to use a passive sentence, but I am going to suggest that when you see that line under what you’ve written, spend a little extra time on that sentence. Can the sentence be written in such a way as to take it from passive into active? Does it make your sentence stronger if you do? Does it make your writing tighter?

Have fun reading some of the examples on Your Dictionary website…link above.

Happy Writing!

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