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Passive/Active Voice

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Androxine Vortex, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

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    Corvus likes this.
  2. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Did you know that you can set Microsoft Word to recognize passive voice?
     
  3. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

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    Yeah but I'm using something else I think its called open office or something. That's kind of sad I don't know what program I use -_____-
     
  4. Rhizanthella

    Rhizanthella Sage

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    I hate passive voice! I set microsoft to recognize it as I type and found that I use it a lot. It is very helpful in not only understanding what passive voice is but also how to fix it. But is it so harmful to use passive voice every once in a while?
     
  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    In my opinion, no....not as long as you have good reason. However, if its not a conscious choice to use passive voice, that doesn't serve a specific purpose (and therefore worth it), then it is harmful.
     
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    I have MS word set to recognize passive voice. When I first made the switch, I had paragraphs and pages underlined in green. These days, I'll get maybe one sentence in twenty with two to five underlined words. A lot of the time, I'll let those pass.

    That said...sometimes passive voice is good for quickie descriptions. Your MC enters a new town. A sentence or two of passive voice can provide enough of an overview to convey an impression of the town without detracting from the story.

    Likewise, if your MC is reading from some academic/instruction manual type text...well, a lot of that would be considered passive voice as well.

    Plus, there are some (academic/bureaucratic type) characters who manage to speak in passive voice.

    Passive voice probably should be restricted, but not completely killed. If I remember right, somebody here once posted a formula on the allowable percentage of passive voice...
     
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