Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The_Writer, Nov 19, 2012.
and Is it safe to write in the passive?
I suspect that there's a misunderstanding of active and passive voice embedded in this question, because I have trouble imagining why you would write in the passive voice. The passive voice really doesn't come all that naturally to people.
One theory: has someone claimed that the word "was" is only used in the passive voice? As a set of examples, the following sentences are active voice:
I was tired, and decided to sleep late.
I tried to keep my temper, but I was furious.
Jane was beautiful. Jane was always beautiful, but on this night she surpassed herself.
The dog was the ugliest, mangiest thing that I had ever seen.
What is passive voice? Below are some examples of sentences in active voice, and similar sentences in passive voice:
Active: I washed the dog.
Active: I was washing the dog.
Passive: The dog was washed by me.
Passive: The dog was being washed by me:
Active: Dinner was delicious.
Active: Dinner was late.
Active: Jane served dinner.
Passive: Dinner was served by Jane.
Passive: Dinner was served late.
You should use the active voice unless there's a special effect you're aiming to evoke.
ditto all of the above info/advice...
to be able to help you, we need to know what it is you think is 'passive' and why you think it might not be allowed...
Active voice is much easier to read, and write. The only time that passive works is like what Thump said, when you're aiming for an effect. It can work well for pacing, if you need to slow a scene down quickly, but just don't overuse it... It makes things sound just plain dull.
Separate names with a comma.