My son Joe with one of his favorite 4RV books,
"Spider in our Mailbox."
As writers, we should always be on the lookout for active v.s. passive voice. For me, this can be a challenge at times. Passive voice can sneak into your paragraphs in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, you've written a story that will put someone to sleep.
Here's some tips on keeping your writing active:
Remember, using an active voice keeps your writing lively and engaging. In active voice, the subject acts.
Alyssa raced up the steps.
Miguel skimmed the apps on his phone.
These sentences are direct and make it clear what's going on.
When a sentence is passive, the subject was acted upon and not an agent of action. (It's all about the action, you see –wink-)
Alyssa was winded after running up the steps.
Miguel was frustrated when he couldn't find the app he wanted on the phone.
Let's face it – the above sentences are dull. There's no energy in them. They don't engage the reader. They "tell," don't "show."
Some things you can do:
1. Put the work down for a couple of hours then pick it up again looking at it with a fresh set of eyes.
2. Go through each sentence.
3. "was" is a big clue that you might have used passive voice. (While there are occasions when "was" is used in active voice, it's usually a tip that you've used it in a passive context. Does your sentence "tell," as opposed to "show?")
4. Tighten up the passages once you find them. Consult a thesaurus for alternate word choices.
Alyssa placed her hands on her knees and drew in long, deep breaths.
Miguel frowned his frustration when he didn't find his app.
Both the retooled sentences are direct and make it clear to the reader who is doing what.
Active voice is simple and concise. It engages the reader and by engaging the reader, you keep them hooked.
Bio: Stephanie Burkhart's 4RV Release, "The Giving Meadow" is about a caterpillar that travels through a meadow making friends and learning about caring for others. She works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher and lives in Southern California. Born and raised in New Hampshire, her favorite football team is the New England Patriots.
5 Stars, Midwest Book Review
Colorful illustrations add just the right touch to this gentle heartwarming story about the transformative power of sharing.
Publisher's Buy Link: http://4rvpublishingllc.com/Childrens_Books.html
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