Suspense by Anne: Choosing Active or Passive Voice – Why Should We?

This article does a good job tying together two concepts I’ve been asking my freshman writing students to consider — showing vs. telling, and active vs. passive verbs.

Active and Passive Voices are the difference between showing and telling. What are Active and Passive Voice?

Active voice, when written well, draws the reader in, lets them share in the story, and involves and excites the emotions. It SHOWS what happens. The characters live the story and take the reader along.

Passive voice, through the use of passive verbs and sentence construction, pushes our readers back, removes them from the action, and makes them sit in their chair while being TOLD what happened. —Rebecca J. Vickery

One thought on “Suspense by Anne: Choosing Active or Passive Voice – Why Should We?

  1. Perfect! I constantly battle with this issue. As a novice writer, it makes it difficult for me to put pen to paper. I think there is a fine line between controlling language and allowing language to control you, and this is where it stems from! By the way, I am a college student in Florida who found you on Google after some research for an assignment. I love what you have to say! I’ll be checking back often.

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