Do you fear your writing is not clear enough?
Do you think your passive sentences mar your work?
Do you worry your audience will leave your book’s message so there goes your potential new clients and customers?
Read on to get writing solutions you can use…
Passive Sentences–The Biggest Writing Challenge for My Book Coaching Clients
They know their topic. They know their best audience. But, from bad writing habits they had in school, they write too many passive sentences. A good ratio is 1 passive per 250 or so words.
The Consequences of Passive Voice
- Passive is flat. It makes you look like a poor writer.
- Passive voice is less direct. Business writing needs direct. William Falkner can use the indirect in his novels.
- Passive voice lacks brevity. We business readers and writers want direct, short and easy to understand. In speed reading I taught that sentences from short to 15 words are easier and faster to read.
- Passive voice is confusing and misleading.
- Passive voice is slow and boring. Your potential clients will leave you when you write them.
You don’t want your audience to leave your message, do you?
Let’s take a look at my client’s passive sentences…and how we fixed them together in a book coaching session.
Louis–In Chapter 1-Two Productivity Drains that Most Doctors Miss
Notice I’ve highlighted the passives below. Do this action on each early draft you write so you see the culprits and can immediately correct.
OLD VERSION. Case Study (Notice the many linking verbs in these sentences). Jim is a 50 year old patient of mine who is the owner of a large home construction company. He came to me because despite being prescribed testosterone by his personal physician, (30 words) he continued to experience significant sluggishness and lethargy. He was also developing aches and pains and was worried he was developing arthritis.
NEW VERSION. My 50 year old patient, owner of a large construction company, sought me out after his doctor prescribed testosterone. (19 words In all–active voice and reasonable sentence length.)
Edit this #1 writing mistake for nonfiction sooner than later. When you correct it sooner, your writing shows your enthusiasm and is easy and fast to read. That’s what your ideal targeted audience wants. If they want easy and fast, give it to them!
Wonder what writing mistake you make and want some help on?
Just email me. Put mistake in subject line and we’ll see what solutions will work.
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