One of the most important things you can do when editing (grammar wise) is to make sure your WIP is mostly in the active voice. For a lot of writers, it’s hard to pinpoint at first and you might not realize what the big deal is, but it will make a dramatic difference. It’s a great way to improve your writing and something you should work on.

Active Voice:

When using the active voice, the subject is doing the action. I thought this chart would be helpful in understanding the active voice, so I’ll include the source at the bottom.

When the subject acts upon the verb, that is the active voice.

Passive Voice:

In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. The subject receives that action expressed by the verb.

When the subject is acted upon, the sentence is in the passive voice. Remember passive generally means that the subject isn’t doing anything, the action is being done to the subject.

If you read the sentences in the charts, it easy to see that the active voice is more enticing to the reader. In many cases, the passive voice is “wordy” and can be a lot more vague. A lot of unnecessary words can be cut when you use the active voice.

Remember it’s not always wrong to write in the passive voice. Most of the time, it’s just not the best way to express your thoughts and can be awkward. If you want clear and concise sentences, it’s best to use the active voice. You must just see your writing improve dramatically.

-Kris Noel

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