It was all because of this blog. Or I should say, this blog made me do it. Why should I say that? Because ‘was’ is the devil, that’s why! Because the first sentence is passive voice. The second is active voice. And we authors should always write in active voice. Why? Because Kristen Lamb says so, that’s why. Actually, it’s because active voice makes our writing tighter and more…active. We do want our readers to be part of the action, don’t we? In order for us to make them part of the action, there first has to be action. Duh.
Anyway, in Matt’s blog, he says, “As a precaution, strictly a precaution, no reason to panic, I ran a search on “was” in my manuscript.” Because you see, Matt Bowes knows better than to use passive voice. Yet performing this search on his own work, he found a plethora of passive voice usage.
Crap, I thought. I know better too. I wonder…
So I did the search. And I too had more wuzzes than a children’s rhyme. I spent hours and hours today correcting all my passive voice faux pas. Mind you, I did not make the change indiscriminately from passive to active voice. I found passive voice actually made sense one in ten times I used it, so I left it. I also left dialogue alone in most cases, since people obviously speak in passive voice…a lot. As for the rest, I know better.
Tomorrow, I will tackle any past perfect tense usage, by running a search for ‘had.’ I don’t think I use past perfect much in my writing. Again, I know better. But I actually left a comment on Matt’s blog about not using past perfect tense..and used past perfect tense in my comment. So I am not holding my breath. Stay tuned!