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ALLWRITEFICTIONADVICE
A D V I CEONCR EA TI V EWR I TI NG

SUNDA Y, 29 JA NUA R Y 2012

Whyyoushouldntalwaysgivethereader
whattheywant
Attheriskofsoundingcontrary,thisisactuallygoodadvice.
Butwhatdoesitmean?Andarentwriterssupposedtogive
thereaderwhattheywant,ratherthantheotherway
around?
Well,no,notalways.
Youneedtogivethereaderwhattheywantintermsof
deliveringthecompletestorywatertightplot,roundedand
believablecharacters,backgroundandpacing,lotsofconflict
andtension,atmosphereandemotionetcbutwhena
writerdeliberatelydoesntgivethereaderwhattheywant,
itsbecausetheyareteasingthereaderandpromptingthem
towanttoknowmore.
Thestoryisatwowayconnectionbetweenyou,thewriter,
andyourreader.Youlaythefoundationsandpaintthe
background,youindulgethemwithinformationand
description,buttheyalsohavetodosomeoftheworktoo
bytryingtofigureoutwhatmighthappennext,whatthe
charactersmightdoandhowthestorymightendetc.Thats

A LL WR IT E FICT ION
A DVICE

IsBackstoryNecessary?
CreatingLastingImages
TrustYourMemories
ReadingYourMSSOutLoud
SortingFactfromFiction

WE LCOME T O A LL WR IT E

Soyou'veembarkedonyour
fictionwritingjourney.
It'soneofthehardestthingsto
docreateawhole,believable
worldforotherpeopletoenjoy,
especiallyifyou'renewto
writing.It'salsooneofthe
loneliestjobs,especiallywhen
thereisnohelporadviceor
support...sorightheretherewill
behandyarticles,examplesand
simplestepbystepguidesto
helpmakethecreativeprocess
thatmucheasier.

preciselywhatkeepsthereaderturningthepage.
Thetrueartofwritingisinvolvingyourreaderfromthe
momenttheyreadthefirstparagraph,untiltheclosing
sentenceattheendofthestory.Thatmeanstheyhaveto
bewillingtoworkalittleforthateffortforthemtobe
rewardedwithagoodstory.
http://allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.in/2012_01_01_archive.html

FE BR UA R Y FE MME S
FA T A LE S

Thisnewdeliciouslydark
anthologyisoutnow,witha
rangeofstunningfemalewriters
toscareanddelightinequal
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

TheArtofHoldingBack
Holdingbackfromyourreaderisratherlikeplayingmind
gameswiththem.Asthewriter,youneedtoimpart
informationthatsrelevanttothestorybutnottoomuch

measure.Iamprivilegedto
haveeightshortstories/poems
publishedinthisbook,soifyou
likeyourdamesalittledarkand
dangerous,thisisthebookfor
you.

otherwise,youblowyourchanceofsurpriseandrevelation
laterinthenovel.
Deliberatelywithholdinginformationistheperfectwayto

NOW A VA ILA BLE ON


A MA Z ON

danglethecarrot,tostokethereadersinterest.
Crime,horrorandthrillerwritersemploythistogreateffect.
Theyplantcluesandsnippetsofinformation,buttheyhold
backfromtellingthereadereverything,becauselaterinthe
story,theymighthavearevelationtosurprisethereader,
andinthemeantime,thatkeepsthereaderguessing.
Otherwritersholdbackonrevealingeverythingabouttheir
characters.Othersholdbackcertainelementsofthestory

FebruaryFemmesFatalesThe
Book

thatcouldformatwistlaterinthenovel.
KeepingSecrets
Howwellcanyoukeepsecrets?Thisisanotherdevice
employedbywriterstosustainthetension.Thisiswherethe
writerletsthereaderinonsomethingthattheprotagonist
theheroorheroineofthestorywontknow,butthewriter
doesntgivethefullpictureofwhatitis,sothereaderisleft

WIS E WOR DS ...

Writingislikebeingmarried
youhavetoworkhardat
maintaininghappinessand
equilibrium,butinvariablyone
alwaysendsupinthedog
house.

guessingtheoutcomelaterinthenovel.
Again,thisdeviceisdesignedtokeepthereaderinterested.

A BOUT ME
A J HUM PA GE

Theyknowsomething,butnoteverything.Keeptheminthe

UNIT E DK INGDO M

darkaboutstuff.

I'vebeenwritingfor
DanBrownsTheDaVinciCodeisagoodexampleofthis.

over25yearsand

Hethrowsinbitsofinformationforthereadertopiece

startedoutinthe

together,wherenecessary,thensurprisesthereaderfurther

publishingindustry.I've

intothestorybycompletelywrongfootingthem,whilethe

publishedarticles,studyguides,

storytwistsinanotherdirection.

poems,flashfiction,short
storiesandanovel.Ialsowork

Healsoletsthereaderinoncertainaspectsofthestorythat

fulltimesoI'mALWAYS

theprotagonistisntawareof,therebyleadingthereaderto

working.

keepreadingtofindoutwhathappens.Theyhavetokeep

V IEW MY CO MPL ETE PR O F IL E

reading.
Thisisaprimeexampleofnotgivingthereaderexactly

BLOOD OF T HE FA T HE R

whattheywant.
http://allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.in/2012_01_01_archive.html

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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

Foreshadowing
Droppingcluesforthereadertoworkoutwhatmighthappen
isanotherwaytoteasethereader,andagainthishelps
sustainthetensionandkeepthemreading.Hintingatthings
tocomeisanageoldmechanismusedinliteratureand
moviesalike,butagain,yourenotgivingthereaderexactly
whattheywant.Yourewhettingtheirappetiteby
deliberatelyremainingcoyandnotgivingthemallthe
relevantinformation.
Ifwewriteastorythattellsthereadereverythingtheyneed

NowavailableonAmazonKindle
UKandUS

toknowfromtheoutset,thenthereaderhasnotruereason
tokeepreading.Manynewwritersdothisintheearly
chaptersoftheirnovelstheyexplaineverythinginthe

BLOOD A ND GUT S
A NT HOLOGY

misguidedbeliefthatswhatthereaderwants,butitmeans
therestofthestorycrumbleslateronbecausethereader
knowsprettymucheverything.Thatmeanstherewillbefew
surprises,twistsorrevelations.
Andtryingtoaddtheseasanaforethoughttendstomake
thewholethingcontrivedbecausetheydontalways
seamlesslyfittogetheranddontalwaysmakesense.
Holdbackoninformation,keepsecretsandforeshadow
wheneverpossible.Dontbeafraidtoplaygameswiththe
readerormisleadthem.Closedoors,putbarriersupand
LEAD

themonawildgoodchaseifyouwantto.

YOUASCAREDYCAT?Now
availableatAmazon

But,sometimes,itpaystonotalwaysgivethemwhatthey
want.

FE BR UA R Y FE MME S
FA T A LE S S T OR IE S

Nextweek:EmulatebutdontcopyWhyyoushouldavoid
writinglikeyourfavouriteauthors.
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SA T UR DA Y, 21 JA NUA R Y 2012

DialogueversusDescription
Dialogueversusdescriptionorinsimpletermshowmuch
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

ofeachshouldyouaimforinyourfiction?
Thisisacommonquestionaskedbymanywriters,andmore
oftenthannot,ifyouaskaquestionlikethisyouwillgeta
hundreddifferentanswers,simplybecausethereareno
absolutesinfiction.Somepeoplesaylotsofdescriptionis
preferable,otherssaylotsofdialogueisbetter.Thiscan
leavewritersunderstandablyconfused.
Theonethingtorememberisthatfictionisaboutbalance.
Thedialoguetodescriptionratiodoesnthavetobeanexact
science,butahealthyamountofbothisbetterthanastory
thatreliesheavilyononeandnottheother,whichmay
leavethewholethinglacking.Thisthenbegsthequestion
whydoesthereneedtobeabalance?
VisittheFeardomclickthepic
Dialogueanddescriptiondependoneachothertheyco
exist,ratherlikestrawberriesandcream.Onewithoutthe
otherjustisntthesameandsometimesitdoesntworkso
well.

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Oneelementimpartsvitalinformationandmovesthestory
forward.Theotherpaintsthebackground,createsafictional
worldandsupportstheentirestorywithaddedlayers.Every

S T YLIS H BLOGGE R A WA R D

storyneedsbothoftheseelements.
Dialogue
Somestoriesthriveonalotofdialogue,shortstoriesin
particular.Thatsbecausethemarketandgenresometimes
demandsit.Womensmagazines,forinstance,usemore
dialogueintheirstructurethandescriptionsimplytomove

thestoryalongwithintheshortamountofwordsallocated.
Thosekindsofstorieswonthavetimetodwellonluscious
descriptionswhenkeepingto10005000wordcounts.

BLOG A R CHIVE

2015(8)
Ifthewordcountismoregenerous,however,thenthewriter
canaffordtoaddmoredescriptiontobolsterthestoryand
thereforehelpbalanceit,sosomethinglike300010,000
wordshasmorechanceofbalancebetweenthetwo
elements.
Somestoriesneeddescription.Thrillerandhorrorstyleshort
stories,forexample,reallydoneedsomethingmore

2014(46)
2013(49)
2012(48)
December(4)
November(4)
October(4)

substantialthanlargechunksofdialogue,otherwisehowwill

September(3)

youshowyourreadertheatmosphere,emotion,tensionor

August(3)

suspense?Romancemarketsalsolikeplentyofdescription
tocreatemood,emotionandallure.
http://allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.in/2012_01_01_archive.html

July(3)
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

June(5)
Ifyouarewritingastoryprimarilymadeupofdialogue,
rememberthatyoucanonlyachievesomuchwithit.

May(4)
April(4)

Anovelinparticularneedsmorethanlargeblocksof

March(5)

dialoguetosustainitself,otherwisethereisariskofthe

February(4)

readerlosinginterestsimplybecausethereisntmuchfor

January(5)

themtogoon.With80,000100,000wordstoplaywith,
youcanbeverygenerouswithbothdialogueAND
description.
Description
Anovelorshortstorytopheavyondialoguewillmissa
criticalkeyfactorinfictionwriting,andthatistheabilityto

Whyyoushouldntalways
givethereaderwhat
they...
DialogueversusDescription
Dotoomanycharacters
spoilthestory?

SHOWthereaderwhatishappening,tomovethestory

TheImportanceof
Feedback

forward,createasenseofatmosphereandtensionand

PassiveVoice

createanoverallpictureforthereader.Dialoguecantreally
dothat,butdescriptioncan.
Conversely,ifyouhavetoomuchdescriptionandnotenough

2011(50)
2010(32)

dialogueinyournovel,thenyouriskalienatingthereader
becausethentheyhavetotrawlthroughlargechunksofit,
attheriskofbecomingbored.Pagesandpagesofendless
textishardworkunlessthewritercanthoroughlyand
cleverlyengagethereader.

T WIT T E R

YoucanfindmeonTwitter:@AJ
Humpage

Andheresastrangething:Shortstoriesmadeupentirelyof
wellconstructeddescriptiondoworkbuttheyhavetobe
verywellwritten.
Dialogueonlystories,ontheotherhand,dontwork.Thisis
becausethereisnothingforthereadernosenseofmood,
nosenseofconflict,noatmosphereandnoemotiontohook

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them,otherthanafewdescriptivesentenceshereandthere.
Thesetypestendtobesterileandlacklustreanddont
alwaysengagethereader.
Aspreviouslymentioned,thebalancebetweenthetwo
doesnthavetobeexact.Lookatyourfavouritenovelsand
themajoritywillhaveahealthydescription:dialogueratio.
Alreadyamember?Signin

Oneimportantpointherehavingtherightbalanceof
descriptionanddialogueincreasesyourchancesofbeing
published.Why?Becauseeditorsexpectit,theyarelooking
forthatbalancebetweenthetwo,andtheylikedetail.

S UBS CR IBE T O

Posts

Ofcourse,thisdoesntmeanyourstoryhastobemiddleof
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

theroad,orsafe,orconstructedexactlytohowtowriting

AllComments

instructions,itsimplymeansyouhavepaidattentiontothe
structureoftheoverallstoryandmadesureoneelement
doesntovershadowtheother.

MOS T POPULA R A R T ICLE S

Yourwritingshouldhaveahealthybalanceofboth.

Chapter&NovelLengths

Nextweek:Whyyoushouldntgivethereaderwhatthey

Justhowlongshouldachapterbe?
Whatsthebestlength?And
doesanovelhavetofitintoa
setamountofwords?Theseare
justtwoo...

want.
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SA T UR DA Y, 14 JA NUA R Y 2012

Dotoomanycharactersspoilthestory?
OftenImaskedhowmanycharactersaretoomanyfora
story,butthehonestanswerwouldbetoassessthestoryor
novelandmakeaninformeddecisiononhowmany
charactersarecentraltothestory.Intruth,thereisno
definitiverightorwrong.Somenovelshavemany

Whatisaflashback?Flashbackis
oneofthoseusefultoolsthata
writercanusetoenhancea
story.Itenrichesand,ina
sense,nourish...
Subplots
Imoftenaskedbynewwriters
howsubplotsshouldevolve.
Somewritersfindsubplots
difficulttogettogripswhile
othersareputofftry...

characters,liketheHarryPotternovels,andLordofthe
Rings,whileothershaveabareminimum.
WOR K S OF A J HUMPA GE

Firstly,toofewcharactersarenotnecessarilyabadthing.
Manynovelshavejustafewmainandsecondarycharacters
andtheyworkwellbecausethemainfocusisconstantlyon

http://ajhumpage.blogspot.com
ThrillersChillers'n'Killers

themthroughoutthenovel.Thatmeanstherearentless
importantcharactersstealingsomeofthatlimelight,and
thusfewersubplotstowriteandtokeepaneyeon.

SHA R E IT

SharethisonFacebook

Inshortstoriesitssomewhatdifferentthefewerthe
characters,thebetter.Thatsbecauseyoumayonlyhave
between1000and10,000wordstotellthestoryandhaving

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toomanycharactersmaycomplicatethewholethingand
makeitdifficultforthereadertokeeptrackofthem.Most
shortstoriesthriveon24characters.
Butwhatabouttoomanycharacters?
Havingtoomanycharactersinanovelcancomplicate

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things.Thisiswherebeginnerstendtotripupbythrowingin
lotsofcharactersintothemixwithamultitudeof
viewpoints,thinkingthatitwillmakethestorymore
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

exciting,butthisonlydetractsfromthestoryforthereader

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tryingtofollowsomanypeople.Theproblemisthatthereis
atendencyforthereadernottoempathisewithorrelateto
thecharactersbecausetherearesomanyofthemtofollow.

STATS

Notonlythat,buttryingtowriteeachindividualcharacter,
completewithpersonalitiesetc,canbecomeconfusingfor
thewriter.Sometimestherearemanysecondarycharacters

PA GE VIE WS LA S T MONT H

withsubplots,andthewriterthenrealisesthatthose
subplotsneedconcludingbytheendofthenovel.

21,564

Sometimesthiscomplicatesthingsandthewriterneedsto
haveamajorcharactercullogetbackontrack.

14

Theotherthingtoavoidwhenthereisalargeamountof
charactersandthisiscommonisupstaging.Thiswhere
secondaryorminorcharacterstakeoverandinadvertently

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shadowthemaincharacter.Ifthathappens,thebalanceof
charactersiswrongandneedscorrecting.Neverallow
secondarycharacterstoovershadowyourmaincharacter.
Aswithmanyelementsinfiction,however,itsallabout
balance.Thequestionyouneedtoaskishowmany
characterscaneffectivelytellthestory?
Pivotalcharacterstheprotagonistandtheantagonistare
themainfocusofeverystory.Inaddition,therearethe
secondarycharacters,butonlythosewhoarestillcentralto
tellingthestory.

AJ Humpage
Author and artist

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Peripheralcharactersminoronesmightonlyhaveafew
linesormaybeappearinthebackground,andsowillnot
clogthenarrativewithsuperfluouspadding.Keeping
peripheralcharacterstoaminimumiswise.Theruleof
thumbisiftheyrenotkeytotheplot,thencutthem.
Inanystory,thewriterislookingforcharacterdevelopment
fullyroundedpersonalitiesthatcanmovethestoryforward
andevokethereadersempathyandemotionsthrough
conflict.Itsimportantthatyourreadercaresforyou
characters.Ifyouhavetoomanypeopleloadingthe
narrative,thereaderwontknowwhichcharactertobother
with.
Inanidealworld,thenumberofmaincharacterswouldbe
around4to10.Secondarycharacterswouldbearoundthe
samenumbers.Peripheralandbackgroundcharactersshould
bejustthat,flittinginandoutofthebackground.
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So,canyoustillengageyourreaderwith,say,25
characters?Canyoudoitwithlessthan10?
Thinkcarefullyabouthowmanyofyourcharacterscantell
thestory,thinkabouttheirdevelopmentandconflicts,and
decidewhatwillbebestforyou.Findtherightbalanceof
charactersandrememberwhoiscentraltoyourplot.

Nextweek:Dialogueversusdescription.
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SA T UR DA Y, 7 JA NUA R Y 2012

TheImportanceofFeedback
Thisisasubjectpreviouslytouchedupon,butitdeserves
anotherlook.
Theprocessoffeedbackisveryimportantforawriter,
whetherthefeedbackisnegativeorpositiveitstillformsan
integralpartofawritersjourneyandtheirabilitytolearn.
Itcanbedauntinglettingsomeoneelsereadyourwork,
becauseyouarenotentirelysurewhethertheywilla)
understandit,b)dislikeitorc)likeit.
Handingoverworkforfeedbackistheactofopening
yourselfupfortheworstcriticism,butbylettingothersread
yourwork,youareinvitingtheiropinion,theirresponse,and
withoutit,orindeedconstructivecritique,youwillbeunable
togrowasawriter.
Oneofthemostimportantreasonsforfeedbackistoenable
otherstoseeerrorsinyourstorywhicharenotalways
apparenttoyou,theywilltellyouifthestoryworks,they
willcommentonyourcharactersanddescription,theywill
tellyouofitallmakessenseandsoon.
Thisprocessallowsyoutounderstandyourstoryfroman
objectiveviewpointbecauseafreshpairofeyeswill
guaranteetofindflaws.
Receivingfeedbackiseasy.Acceptingfeedbackis
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

altogetherdifferent.Intruth,noonelikestobecriticised,
butwritershavetoacceptthisaspartofthejob,whether
theylikeitornot.Sometimeswererightandsometimes
werewrong.Itsacceptingthatwegotitwrongthat
separatesthetruewritersfromthosewhovaluearrogance
aboveallelse.
Thefeedbackthatismostignoredbywritersisthekindof
feedbackthatheorshefindshardtoaccept,becausethey
willfindahundredexcusestojustifyit,suchastheydidnt
understandwhatIwastryingtosayortheydontappreciate
thegenreorIdeliberatelywroteittobelikethat
Feedbackhighlightstheissuesthatthewriterhasntspotted,
soitdoesntmatterwhetherthereaderdoesntunderstand
thegenre,orwhethertheyaretheworldsgreatest
grammarian,whattheyaregivingisanhonest,open
opinion.Allwritersshouldrespectthisandthenreexamine
theworktoseewheretheycanmakeimprovements.
Itdoesntreallymatterwhoprovidesthefeedback,whether
itisafriend,anavidreaderorwhetheritsaprofessional
critique,eachoneisstillareader.Anditswhattheythink
oftheworkthatcounts.
Andofcourse,onceyouhavesomefeedback,itshowyou
dealwithitthatisimportant.Doyoushrugitoffwith
arrogance?Doyoutakeonboardtheircomments?Doyou
examinewhatyouneedtodoinordertoimprove?
Whatyoudodeterminesthekindofwriteryouare,andhow
muchyouwanttolearn.
Rewritingandeditingfollowingreaderfeedbackisjustas
importantasthecreativepartofwriting,becauseitallows
youtotakeacriticallookatitagain.Theabilitytoreflecton
yourownworkisafundamentalprincipleofcreativewriting.
Thismeansyouneedtobeabletoedityourwork
appropriately,youneedtobeabletotakeonboardany
commentsandmakeyourworkmuchbetter.Somewriters
prefertoeschewthisprocessandploughonregardless.
Thesewritersareseldompublished.
Antisthenesoncesaid,Nottounlearnwhatyouhave
learnedisthemostnecessarykindoflearning.
Antisthenes,onceapupilofSocrates,wasontoagoodthing
there.Inotherwords,bynotlearningfromyourerrors,you
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

willneverlearn.Andifyoudontlearnfromsuchmistakes,
youneverimproveandgrow.
Thereisaverysimpleprocesstofollowwhetherthe
feedbackisgood,badorindifferent.
Onceyouhavewrittenyourwork,giveittopeopletoreadto
gaintheiropinionsandviews.Theirresponsesmightbevery
positive,theymightbeverynegative,ortheycouldbe
constructive.Onceyouhavethatfeedback,itsimportantto
reflectonit,tounderstandwhyorhow,tointerprettheir
analysisandtoformobjectivejudgementbasedontheir
views.Onlythencanyougoback,editandimproveas
longasyouarenotafraidofhumilityandyouhavethe
desiretolearn.
Remember:
Writeandedityourwork
Letothersreadit,gainsomefeedback
Examineallopinionsandcomments
Reflectonyourwork
Editandimprove

IllleavethelastwordtoMarkTwain:"Thepublicistheonly
criticwhoseopinionisworthanythingatall".

Nextweek:Dotoomanycharactersspoilthestory?

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MONDA Y, 2 JA NUA R Y 2 0 1 2

PassiveVoice
Thisisasubjectpreviouslytouchedupon,butstillcauses
problemsforwriters.
Passivevoiceisoneofthosethingsthatgiveallwritersa
headachefromtimetotime,becausesometimesitsneeded
andsometimesitisnt,butknowingwhentocorrectlyuse
passivevoicecausestheconfusion.
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Firstly,theuseofpassivevoiceisntalwaysgrammatically
incorrect.Thiscreatesuncertaintyforwriters,whobelieve
itsawritingnono,buttherearetimeswhenpassivevoice
isactuallyrequired,andpreferred.
Butwhatexactlyispassivevoice?
Passivevoiceisproducedbyusinganauxiliaryverb(e.g.to
be),whichisusedwithapastparticiple.Ifyouarenotsure
oftheverbformsoftobe,theyareis,are,am,was,were,
havebeen,hasbeen,hadbeen,willbe,willhavebeenand
being.
Apastparticipleisaformoftheverbthatusually,though
notexclusively,endsined.Verbsareeitheractiveor
passive.
Inpassivevoice,thetargetoftheactiontakesthesubject
position,forexample,theplantwaswateredbyJohn,or
thedoorwasclosedbyAmy.Inotherwords,bothJohnand
Amyaretherecipientsoftheaction,ratherthantheother
wayaround,wherethesubjects(JohnandAmy)aredoing
theaction.
Intheactivevoice,thesesentenceswouldlooklikethis:
Johnwateredtheplant.
Amyclosedthedoor.
Inanactivesentence,thesubjectperformstheaction.John
isthesubjectofthesentencebecauseheisdoingthe
action,thereforethesentenceisactive.
Amyisalsothesubjectofthesentencebecauseshe
performstheactionofclosingthedoor.Again,thesentence
isactive.
Youneedtoidentifywhoorwhatisdoingtheaction
therefore,ifthesubjectisperformingtheactionthenthe
sentenceisactive.If,however,thesubjectofthesentence
isreceivingtheaction,thenyouhaveconstructedapassive
sentence.
Thewordtolookoutforthatcontrivespassivesentencesis
was.Avoidtoomuchuseofwasinyournarrative.
Ofcourse,whenwereintheflowofwriting,wedontalways
spotpassivesentences,soduringtheeditingstageswecan
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AllWriteFictionAdvice:January2012

gobackandcorrectthembecauseweknowwhattolookfor.
Asalreadymentionedabove,passivevoiceisntentirely
bad.Therewillbeinstanceswhereyourspellcheckerwill
highlightapassivesentence(ratheroverzealously)andfill
yourscreenwithgreenlittleunderlines.Forinstance,inthe
secondparagraphofthisarticlethesentencesometimesits
neededispassive.Inthesecondparagraph,wevebeen
taughtisalsopassive,howeveritspreferabletoleavethe
sentencespassiveotherwisetheflowandfluidityofthe
wholethingwillbecomeawkwardifchanged,sointhis
instancepassiveispreferred.
Passivesentencesareverycommonindialogue,andare
typicalrepresentationsofeverydayspeech,sothereislittle
needtochangethem,forinstance:
Shehasbeentoldseveraltimes,hesaid.
Hasbeenisthepassivepartofthesentence,butitsin
keepingwithwhatwedsayinreallife,sothereisnoneed
tochangeit,otherwisethedialoguewillbecomestiltedifwe
weretochangeittoToldseveraltimes,shewas.
Sowhilesomepassivesentencesneedeliminating,some
arerequired.Learnaboutauxiliaryverbsandpast
participles,becomefamiliarwiththemtohelpyouspot
passivesentences.Dontalwaysrelyonyourspellchecker.
Onthewhole,limitpassivevoice,otherwiseyournarrative
mightbecomeawkward.Keepthewritingtightandconcise
andremembertokeepsentencesactiveratherthanpassive
whereverpossible.
Nextweek:Theimportanceoffeedback
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