Today’s writing tip is a simple but tried and true method to improve your writing. Simply put, avoid words that end in ING. But why? Typically that is because those words are weaker than their active counterpart.

Passive voice turns your characters into bystanders, casually allowing the story to happen to them while the active voice makes them active participants. So let’s look at a specific example ….

“She was standing in a red room” is not as strong as saying, “She stood in a red room”.

She was standing is passive. It sounds almost like it was something happening to her, whereas she stood is active, it is her doing it.

You don’t have to delete every sentence in your entire book that uses the passive voice or a word that ends in ING, but do look at them and consider if maybe that line would be improved if you did change it to an active voice.  Just remember that words that end in ING often weakens the sentence, so consider alternatives.