Active voice or passive voice? That is the question, and the answer is always ‘active’. That’s my problem. For some reason, I habitually use passive voice, which makes it more work for me when I do edits and rewrites. Grrr! Sometimes I don’t see the problem sentences until someone points them out, and I’m forever grateful to those who care about me enough to do that. Oh well, we all have our weaknesses, don’t we?

Look at this paragraph from my WIP, Where the River Goes. Do you see the lazy writing?

Kade had been standing to one side, listening. He walked over to stand beside David.“Well,” he drawled, “at least you got one thing right.” He put his hand on David’s shoulder. “This boy is rich. He’s rich in ways you’ll never know. He’s rich with integrity. He’s rich with values that would never allow him to harm or harass anyone for any amount of money. He’s rich with family and friends. And you need to thank God above that I’m with him, and he’s my role model. That keeps me from hurting you.” He turned to David. “Come on, family and friend. Let’s get out of here.”

Now, doesn’t this sound better? Tighten up those sentences. Stop being lazy!

Kade stood to one side, listening. He walked to David’s side. “Well,” he drawled, “at least you got one thing right.” With his hand on David’s shoulder, he smiled. “This boy is rich. He’s rich in ways you’ll never know. He’s rich with integrity. He’s rich with values that would never allow him to harm or harass anyone for any amount of money. He’s rich with family and friends. And you need to thank God above that I’m with him, and he’s my role model. That keeps me from hurting you.” He turned to David. “Come on, family and friend. Let’s get out of here.”

I’m trying hard to structure my sentences right the first time instead of facing the job of rewriting them later. I’m learning to avoid using ‘that’ and ‘so’ and other unnecessary filler words. Man! This writing is hard work! Fun, though, don’t you think?

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