Writing group

A Year of Writing Tips #12

If there’s one thing I can never get a handle on, it’s passive voice. Me and grammar don’t do well together, and there are so many rules I can never remember them. Suffice to say, I don’t really know what active and passive voice are, but we’re not really here to talk about that.

During my writing years, (and more recently,) all I have been told, is this: passive voice, is a big no no.

Is that true? Is it not? Who knows. It’s writing advice, so of course it’s a matter of opinion. It’s also a matter of how you use either active or passive voice. Sometimes the passive works better. Sometimes, the active packs more of a punch. That’s up to the writer to decide.

I have difficulty telling the difference between active and passive, which is why I don’t really pay it any mind. But I’ve learnt something recently that can help recognise whether you’re using active or passive voice.

And that something, is zombies.

If you can insert (by zombies,) after the verb, whatever that is, you have passive voice.

She was killed (by zombies.) Passive

Zombies killed (by zombies,) her. Active.

It’s a great grammatical tool, especially if it’s something you’re looking to actively change in your own writing.


Good thoughts and happy writing!




1 thought on “A Year of Writing Tips #12”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s