When should you use passive sentences in your writing?
Decide when to use passive sentences.
People are talking a lot about passive income these days. Put in the work now and in a few weeks you could be making money in your sleep! What does passive income have to do with passive sentences?
Last time, we talked about the importance of using active sentences in your writing because, like prune juice, they tend to keep things moving. What is an active sentence? Here are some examples:
Patricia wrote a short story on her laptop last night.
Antonio bit into the green apple and immediately grimaced.
The squirrel darted up the startled tourist's pant leg!
Active sentences focus on action: Patricia wrote, Antonio bit, the squirrel darted.
But sometimes you want the reader to focus on a particular person or thing more than on the action. In this case, you want to place the emphasized word toward the beginning of the sentence, which often makes the sentence passive. Here are some examples:
The car in question was driven to the store by the defendant.
That candy bar, in all its decadence, was devoured by the custodian.
A process was begun that has developed into a fiasco.
This means what you're writing will have some passive sentences. No gasping necessary. This is actually a good thing, because a book, short story, or article with nothing but active sentences would be like a squirrel constantly darting up your pant leg.
A bit much.
Using mostly active sentences and sprinkling in some passive ones, will sparklefy your writing!