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#344511 - 09/28/07 12:06 AM It was a dark and stormy night...
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
This week's article is on active and passive voice, particularly stative sentences ("He/She/It was...").

Let's play a game smile

In the article I converted "It was a dark and stormy night" from passive (was) to this more active sentence:

"Lightning interrupted the dark night." (Subject, active verb, and object)

What options can you come up with for converting "It was a dark and stormy night" into active voice?
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Elle Carter Neal
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#344626 - 09/28/07 09:35 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]
MB2345 Offline
Gecko

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 589
Great article, Elle. How about,

"Rain streamed and soaked through the velvety darkness."

I could get even more "purple" but I'd better stop there. At least it's active! smile

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#344672 - 09/28/07 11:26 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: MB2345]
joanj Offline
Koala

Registered: 09/14/06
Posts: 2616
Loc: Texas
Lightning exploded in rockets of flaring energy across the sky, as rain poured from the buckets of the gods.

How's that for wordy?-lol
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#344762 - 09/28/07 07:44 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: joanj]
Vance - Crime/History Ed. Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 5581
Loc: Hudson Falls, New York
Lightning lit up the dark sky as the thunder rumbled and the cool rain began to fall?
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#347157 - 10/11/07 04:34 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: Vance - Crime/History Ed.]
bookgirl Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
As the wind howled and screeched through the rain-soaked trees, darkness fell.

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#347366 - 10/11/07 10:44 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: bookgirl]
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Some nice answers there smile

Let's try one based on the discussion of participle sentences in this week's article on rhythm.

How would you rewrite this paragraph, so that it actually makes sense, and allows the reader to create a flowing "movie" in her mind.

While attempting to administer the vaccination, the dog bit the vet. Grabbing for a cloth, the vet's assistant suddenly fainted.
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#347419 - 10/12/07 06:57 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]
Vance - Crime/History Ed. Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 5581
Loc: Hudson Falls, New York
The dog bit the vet as he tried to give it a vaccination. The vet's assistant reached for a cloth to help the doctor control the bleeding and suddenly fainted before she could complete the task.

Is this a right way to fix it?
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Vance Rowe
Crime Editor
History Editor

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#347680 - 10/13/07 04:37 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: Vance - Crime/History Ed.]
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
That's great Vance.

The main thing to keep in mind is that some of your readers may be trying to picture the action as they are reading. When you place the subject first and keep the action described in the same order as it should be imagined, the reader has somewhere definite to begin picturing. Using participle sentences and passive voice mean that your sentences begin backwards. The reader has to wait before he can complete the picture... or he might get the picture wrong at first, both of which pull his attention out of the story.
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Elle Carter Neal
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#366322 - 01/14/08 12:48 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]
dawnjae Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 1
Loc: North Carolina, USA
How about this? (I'm new here as of today - great forum!)

The experienced veterinarian sensed that the dog was terrified and gently stroked its hair before slowly moving the vaccination needle into place. Suddenly, and with a burst of energy such that the vet had never seen before, the dog lashed out, teeth bared, a deep growl cut short by the cushion of the vet's arm in its jaws. Blood began to spurt across the table as the vet tried in vain to release the dog's locked grip. "Help!" he gasped to his assistant, who, because she was relatively inexperienced in the field, took one look at the ruby-red mess and fainted into a crumpled heap on the floor.
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#366411 - 01/14/08 03:41 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: dawnjae]
elle Offline
Koala

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 2966
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Well, you've done a good job moving it from passive to active... but now you need to work on the adjectives and adverbs wink
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