Thursday, June 21, 2012

Write On Edge: Short & Active Challenge

Red Writing Hood gave us 100 words this week. The goal is to take one, two, or all of the partial phrases below, and then flip them from passive to active.

  1. [he/she/I] was devastated by [...]
  2. [feeling] was experienced by [...]
  3. [person/thing] was possessed by [...]

Structurally, grammatically, there is nothing wrong with passive tense. It has a time and a place, but in today's short-attention-span reading population, passive voice will not keep readers up until the small hours of the morning, white-knuckled, drenched in sweat, and turning the pages to see what happens next. When one wants the plot to move forward, one needs an active voice to do it.

So, in light of moving on, I'll quit the diatribe and commit to the exercise. From the above, I madlibbed the following:

Passive: She was devastated by the loss of her innocence. Disbelief was experienced by her soul. She was possessed by him.

This bubbled in a cocoon and, I believe, emerged successfully transformed into short and active. 




I offer the following in response: The Last Courtship of Actias Luna

 
He possessed her. She experienced her world through tainted eyes, refusing to see the ruins of her crumbling soul. “When I tire of you, I will consume you,” he prophesied, laying all blame at her feet while he danced. Her innocence obliterated, she surrendered, moth to the flame.


34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  2. Sure the passive version was grammatically correct, but the active version was stronger, more passionate. And dangerous obsession and surrender are nothing if not passionate! Thanks for playing, Shel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cam! I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  3. The active version packs such a powerful punch. I like that you gave a passive voice example first. Very nicely done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I wanted to show the progression of the concept, not just the end result. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and giving feedback!

      Delete
  5. Very nice: powerful action and lingering prose. I liked it!

    And I agree with Cam. The passive voice is grammatically correct and has its place, but prose is so much more lively when use active voices and action words! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, for both stopping by and for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  7. She surrendered. You could feel it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm thrilled this worked. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  8. I love how this prompt seems to have brought out the darkness in many folks. I loved how in 100 words she went from possessed to surrender. Quick, brutal journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm thrilled this worked. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  9. I love how you approached this prompt. Your second version all but forced you to feel and experience the scene with the characters. Excellent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I wanted something visceral and complete, so I'm thrilled this worked. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Ah thanks for the love! As always, I'm happy to sopped by!

      Delete
  11. Ooh, very nice! I like how you approached it, writing in passive and then fleshing out to active. I tried to skip that, and found it very tough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I figured I wanted to showcase more of the actual challenge than the result. I'm thrilled to know that it worked. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you liked it!

      Delete
  13. For a small piece it sure makes my imagination go into a big overdrive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm thrilled you liked it!

      Delete
  14. Hot. I love how you jump right in with that active sentence. It's short and very powerful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the love! I'm glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts!

      Delete
  15. Awesome job. Loved how you jumped right in with the active voice.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Is it wrong that I like reading your diatribes as much as your prompts, albeit in a different way? :)

    I like your response. "laying all the blame at her feet while he danced" is intoxicating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'm so glad you like reading what I write, whether it's the diatribe, the drivel, or the prompt responses. You are always, always welcome here.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  17. This is a beautifully written piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete