Writing in Passive Voice or Active Voice



My topic today, as I prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo is how to write in active voice and avoid passive voice.

I still find myself puzzled by active vs passive voice, so these sites are as much for my reference as for yours.

I have two links for you. Both are very good at explaining the difference.

The Passive Voice

“… active (The executive committee approved the new policy) or

passive (The new policy was approved by the executive committee)”

Active/Passive Verb Forms

Active: “[Thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action]”

Passive: “[Thing receiving action] + [be] + [past participle of verb] + [by] + [thing doing action]”

This is active voice: The swimmer reached the end of the pool.

This is passive voice: The end of the pool was reached by the swimmer.

If you are thinking of participating in Camp NaNoWriMo best of luck to you! I am ready to begin tomorrow, although I may start a few hours early.


Fall or Autumn?




I thought today about the differences between people, and especially the differences in speech.
For instance, is the upcoming season (in the Northern Hemisphere) fall or autumn? Perhaps both?

A lot depends on the region where one lives.

When I moved, as a child, from the east to the west part of the country, I soon learned that the “rubbers” I wore on my feet when it rained, were called “boots”. (When I grew up, I learned that “rubbers” are an entirely different thing)
And a “rubber” that corrected pencil marks was called an “eraser”.

“Potatoes” and “spuds” and “cookies” and “biscuits”.
This latter is a difference between North America and the UK.
In the UK, “sausages” are “bangers” and the “hood” of a vehicle is a “bonnet”.
A “truck” here, is a “lorry” over there.

As a teenager, I was so critical of my mother’s speech. If she used the “wrong” word or the “wrong” pronunciation. Of course, I got over that behavior and attitude when I became an adult.
And of course, I’d give anything now to have her back, mistakes in speech and all, because we do miss our parents when they have passed on.

So I guess my point is this – as a writer, words can be used to set a scene and to develop and flesh out a character. In writing, the “right” word can make a big difference.

In speech, the differences between people are not so important. That is one of the things that makes us human.