Mar 28, 2012
The Passive Voice
Writers know that using the passive voice can hurt writing. It might prevent the reader from gaining a clear understanding of the work. I eliminate the passive voice in my writing whenever possible, but not always. I notice my tendency to over use the passive voice. It takes a lot of focus and concentration to stop writing this way. I can't even begin to think of how many times I have used the passive voice without being unaware of it. Good writers need to kill the passive voice.
What is the passive voice? Any form of "to be." For example: Is, Are, Am, Was, Were, Has been, Have been, Will be, Will have been, Being, Been.
For example, instead of saying: "He was afraid," one should write "He feared," or better yet, "He trembled."
I have been struggling (there is is again - that passive voice!) during the past few weeks with the need to correct and edit my writing as I go. I keep reminding myself that it's not the end of the world (even though it is 2012), it's just that I want to get the story and the words exactly right, right away. It sure slows me down and makes it difficult to get the story out. Some mornings I would like to be a rebel and write only using the passive voice, using tons of adjectives and adverbs. Ha ha.
When I was quickly eating my breakfast cereal, I laughed hysterically until I was foaming from my lovely mouth. I was silently thinking about all of the times I had turned in completely awful writing, thinking it was incredibly good. I have been fooling myself all along, thinking I was an amazingly talented writer. Turns out, I have been sorely wrong and am deeply crushed.
There. Got that out of the way. Off to write.