Make Your Writing More Active

Passive writing is boring. Here’s a simple change you can apply to every sentence you write to make it more interesting. Simply look for the word “was.” For example:

The house I grew up in was in Los Angeles. It was a low, ranch style house with some modern touches. It was designed by my father. But maintenance was a challenge. After only a few years the plumbing was rusty and paint was peeling from the outside walls.

That’s really boring! Here’s what it looks like if we change all those “was” passive verbs to something more active:

I grew up in Los Angeles, in a low, ranch style house with some modern touches. My father designed it, but he didn’t realize how hard it would be to maintain. After only a few years plumbing rusted and paint peeled from the outside walls.

Quite a difference, isn’t it? The changes were minor, but now it is active and interesting. It even got shorter!

Try eliminating “was” from your writing and see how much more interesting it becomes! (If you write in present tense, look for “is” instead.)

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