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Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We pride ourselves on fostering a welcoming and helpful community where all levels of writers are accepted.

In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

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Selwyn Thorfinn
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WHY quality is better than quantity

on Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:02 am
We in the RP world talk a lot about quality being better than quantity.  Then, since we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, we say it doesn't matter how long your posts are.  

What nobody ever talks about is why quality is better, or even what quality is.  Is quality your ability to dream up compelling ideas?  Probably not.  There are many people who can do that, yet fail in the execution.  Perhaps, then, it's your ability to write well.  So what is writing well?

Writing well can mean lots of things.  It can be your ability to create distinctive metaphors, it can be your ability to tap into your character's emotions and convey them to your audience, it can be showing instead of telling what's happening in the story.  However, when it comes to how long your posts are, something far more mundane is probably at the heart of it.

Using passive instead of active voice

Passive voice is wordy.  It's an indirect way of expressing actions. Chances are, if you're using it, it's probably because you're used to writing essays.  There's nothing inherently wrong with using the passive voice, but it does tend to make fiction less dynamic.

Active voice, as you've probably guessed, is the direct way of expressing the same thing.  It tends to be shorter, so if you're writing in the active voice, your posts will be shorter as a consequence.

For example, in the active voice, I'd write:
The hex hit Selwyn.

Whereas in passive voice, I'd write:
Selwyn was hit by the hex.

Neither of them is wrong, but the first is more compelling. It's also more immediate.  As well as the second form being longer, it distances you from the action.  It's like you're reading a report instead of being there with the character, which is not what you want if you're trying to evoke an emotional response in your readers.
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