Passive voice occurs when you take the object of your sentence—the part that the action happens to—and make it the subject of your sentence. Here are some examples: - **Passive**: *The flag was raised by the troops.* - **Active**: *The troops raised the flag.*
Aristotle said a metaphor was “the act of giving a thing a name that belongs to something else.” It allows you to pack a powerful punch in a few words. Your reader can take their full understanding of one thing, and apply it to another thing. By writing, “my cubicle is a prison,” your reader understands how you feel about your job. With just that one word they know you feel trapped, unhappy, desolate.
What is the passive voice, anyway? As writers, we know that the passive voice is bad. But why? And if it is so bad, how do we fix it? We take a look at what the passive voice is and a new feature to fix it in ProWritingAid.
Dialogue can be about much more than just the words on the page. Good authors use it to build tension and subtly set the tone of each interaction. The words their characters choose say so much more than just their lexical meaning. So how you can use dialogue to create captivating characters and move your story forward? Here are 5 tricks.
The master of Gothic horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe could set the tone of anything with a few chosen words. Here's how he did it.
An allegory is a story that evokes two separate meanings. The first meaning is the story's surface, like characters and plot, the stuff that goes into every story. But at a much deeper level, an allegory has a symbolic, heavy meaning. What allegories come to mind? Maybe _The Lord of the Flies_; _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_; _Moby Dick_; or _Pilgrim's Progress_?
A cliché is a tired, stale phrase or idiom that, because of overuse, has lost its impact. What was once a fresh way of looking at something has become a weak prop for writing that feels unimaginative and dull. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the energy or inspiration to think of a new way to express an idea. George Orwell in his Rules of Writing said: **“Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”** Be creative and come up with something fresh. A new analogy or metaphor will make much more of an impression on your readers than a dusty old cliché.
Verbs like "know," "remember," and "imagine" are thought verbs that happen inside a character’s head. They slow the story down. Learn how to replace them with action and detail.
In this article, we delve a deeper into creating your story arc.
Writers who use satire to get their point across do so by wielding humor, wit, irony, or sarcasm. They expose an individual or society for its weaknesses, corruption, hypocrisy, or foolishness. And no one does it better than Mark Twain.
The best editors understand how to help you take your manuscript from rough draft to a finished masterpiece.
The term “literary device” refers to some common techniques that writers use to add meaning to their writing and get their message across more poignantly. When mastered, literary devices can help your reader interpret your scenes and understand your ideas with greater depth. There are hundreds of literary devices to choose from, but let’s talk about some of the ones that will add layers to your writing.
The self-help industry is a $10 billion market, which means that people around the world are striving hard to improve themselves. For authors, it's a huge market for creating information products, including but not limited to books and articles that cater to self-help consumers.
An adverb is redundant if you use it to modify a verb with the same meaning in its definition. Read more about how redundant adverbs clutter up your writing and how to get rid of them.
Author Chuck Wendig has some advice independent authors can't ignore. Find out in this post.