Thursday, 2 February 2012

Passive verbs

I've just been scanning through my collection of novels by my favourite authors - all of them multiple best- sellers.

   In all the books I found a lot, a plethora in fact, of passive verbs. Now I've just been through my latest novel which I firmly believe is just about ready for publication, and although I deleted numerous passive verbs, I found to my horror that all my favourite authors have left most of theirs in. Barely a paragraph goes by without at least three.

   So, from now on, I'm going to remove all obviously redundant passives but also from now on I'm not going to sweat it any more. If the best can do it, and clearly get away with it, then the same thing should be fine for me.

   So there!

   Having said that; they're all best sellers, and I'm not.


  1. well, I went way overboard taking out extra 'thats' 'buts' and 'ands' Now to clarify the story, I have to put many back in.
    If your fav authors are using passives, then it should be ok. There have been some sentences I can't write any other way.

  2. Yep, you can go thru any bestseller and find tons to edit. And the rule is, you have to follow the rules until you're a bestseller, then you can get away with whatever you want. But also, I've heard it's good to know and practice the rules, so you know how to break them when the time is right. ;)

  3. PK's right. Follow her advice and you'll go far.

  4. I feel positively nasty going through a really good novel purely to find either typo's or other forms of sloppiness - not that it stops me doing it. But I will strive to get it right, if only for pride's sake.