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Aaaghh! Passive Voice.

  1. Are there any other writers/ authors out there who struggle with this? When you write something which looks and sounds perfectly acceptable but your spell/grammar checker nags you that it's "passive voice, consider revising".

    It's driving me mad at the moment. I've revised and cut and pasted this one opening sentence till blue in the face but it all ends up not sounding as I want it too. It loses impact and the drama of the moment is totally lost and I've forgotten what I wanted to say in the first place. Grrr!

    Do you revise and rewrite till your PC shuts up, or do you just leave it. I do know the PV is acceptable sometimes but as a relatively new writer, I'm finding it a tad confusing.

  2. I just rewrite it a bit, maybe to smooth out the wording. But if SpellCheck is still being stupid, I just leave it. Honestly, I don't pay much attention to SpellCheck when I'm writing book reviews because all of the proper nouns drive it insane. I think you should just trust your instinct. If it sounds good when you read it aloud, as a general rule it's okay.

  3. Thanks Carrie. I think I've cracked that opening sentence.....for now. :)

  4. If it sounds good to me, spell check is wrong ;p

  5. I have a personal pet peeve about the passive voice. It's okay to use sometimes, but most thoughts are best conveyed in the active voice.

    Now, the fact that you are aware of the difference between the two puts you eons ahead of many bloggers! I don't mean that as an insult, but it's usually a better read when the author has chosen the active voice.

  6. I wouldn't worry about it unless you get that message a lot.

    If you need to use the passive voice to get the proper tone, go with it. Use sparingly.

    "To be or not to be--that is the question" <---passive voice. :-)

  7. wordwatchtowers

    ...just in case anyone is interested in a simple explanation of the difference between active and passive:

  8. crashcourseinself

    I agree with @momfrog. There are times when only passive voice works. It's not always bad writing. If changing to active changes the tone of what you're trying to say, don't sweat it. Accept.

  9. Thanks for advice folks. I've changed the POV to first person and it sounds much better for the situation anyway. And it's solved the PV problem.

    *thumbs up and cheers*

  10. Active voice is preferred. It energizes a blog.

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