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#344511 - 09/28/07 07:06 AM It was a dark and stormy night...  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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?


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#344626 - 09/28/07 04:35 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 589
MB2345 Offline
Gecko
MB2345  Offline
Gecko

Joined: Jan 2007
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

#344672 - 09/28/07 06:26 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: MB2345]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,616
joanj Offline
Koala
joanj  Offline
Koala

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,616
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

#344762 - 09/29/07 02:44 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: joanj]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,582
Vance - Crime Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Vance - Crime Editor  Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,582
Hudson Falls, New York
Lightning lit up the dark sky as the thunder rumbled and the cool rain began to fall?


Vance Rowe
Crime Editor
#347157 - 10/11/07 11:34 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: Vance - Crime Editor]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
bookgirl Offline
Newbie
bookgirl  Offline
Newbie

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
USA
As the wind howled and screeched through the rain-soaked trees, darkness fell.

#347366 - 10/12/07 05:44 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: bookgirl]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#347419 - 10/12/07 01:57 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,582
Vance - Crime Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Vance - Crime Editor  Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,582
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?


Vance Rowe
Crime Editor
#347680 - 10/13/07 11:37 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: Vance - Crime Editor]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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.


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
#366322 - 01/14/08 08:48 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: elle]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1
dawnjae Offline
Newbie
dawnjae  Offline
Newbie

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1
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.


"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
#366411 - 01/14/08 11:41 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night... [Re: dawnjae]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
elle Offline
Koala
elle  Offline
Koala

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,966
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


Elle Carter Neal
BellaOnline Alumna
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