Why Can’t I Use Passive Voice?

"Mistakes were made."Ronald Reagan famously said: “Mistakes were made” as a way to avoid taking the blame.

Passive sentences aren’t incorrect. It has a place in business and science writing. Using a passive sentence is sometimes needed to place the attention on the verb or the object instead of the subject. I.e.: The unidentified victim was apparently struck during the early morning.

But what about fiction writing? Now and then is okay. But remember– Sentences using passive voice are usually wordy, so you can tighten your writing if you replace passive sentences with active sentences. Sometimes passive voice is awkward and other times it’s vague, making it confusing for the reader to grasp the concept you’re trying to convey. It is almost always distracting in fiction and it’s a good practice to avoid it as much as possible.

So who’s to blame when you use passive voice?


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