Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Oops, I just purpled my prose

We've all had those embarrassing moments, right?

What is purple prose? I'd never heard the phrase used until I fell down the writing rabbit hole.

Purple prose is being pretentious to the point of distraction. It's like saying, I bought the damn dictionary, and I'm getting my money's worth.

How do you know if you're purpling that prose?

If your description of how your character said yes takes longer than two lines, you might be purpling.
If you can't spell more than half of the words you're using when you type them, you might be purpling.
If your grandma would wash your mouth out with soap if she heard you saying those words because she thought they were naughty, you might be purpling.
If you don't know the meaning of your own words, you might be purpling.
If you have more than five adverbs in a sentence, you might be purpling.
If you forgot whose dialogue you're in the middle of, you might be purpling.
If readers as you what you wrote about after reading what you wrote, you might be purpling.
If, with gentle caress, you add, lightly, those few extra descriptors, lest one forget the sheer emotion you would, in your greatest of hearts, wish to convey, you might be purpling.

So, does that mean don't purple? Nah, just purple with purpose.

Learn a little balance.

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