Yes, it must be said, I was very informed by the article. My writing habits were clearly demonstrated to be wrong. The passive voice is something I use way too often. But Cindy's piece was very educating for me. I felt as though the correct way to write was illuminated. And I vow, as I stand here today, the passive voice is something I will never use again...
Ouch! It's a lot harder to do that intentionally than I imagined.
All jokes aside, I still feel that passive voice, if used judiciously, can not only add to the palate of sentence choices that a writer can draw from, but can also offer a dramatic boost when used properly (and sparingly):Joe whacks Fingers Morelli over the back of the head with a tire iron.
Before Fingers can fall, Tino delivers a vicious uppercut to his chin with the ice pick.
Fingers slumps to the ground, moaning.
Dutch grabs the shotgun from the Cadillac trunk and BLOWS Finger's head off.
For good measure, Tino kicks the corpse a few times.
Fingers is as dead as he's going to be.
Notice how all the exposition up to the end is in active
, some might even say aggressive,
voice. But that last line shifts to passive voice. I could have just as easily used active for that too:Fingers dies.
orFingers' body just lies there.
But in this case, use of the passive voice marked a strong contrast with all that active voice in the preceding exposition. It serves as an exclamation mark to the action.
It's still important to make sure to use active voice 99% of the time. Especially when writing in present tense script form, it's easy to fall into the passive voice trap. The main thing as a writer is to educate oneself to the point of knowing the difference instinctively, and then making that choice from an informed position and not by error.