What qualifies as “purple prose”? Examples?

8 Answers

  • I’d say that purple prose is a passage that is so needlessly ornate and wordy that it takes away from the meaning of the passage. We all want our writings to be vivid and sometimes it’s just a little too tempting to describe absolutely everything about a scene, halting action and killing comprehension. The more wordy the passage gets, the harder it is to get the point across.

    Here are three passages. The first one is not particularly “purple.” Depending on the scene, the second one could be too much. The last one is definately too “purple” to use.

    He sipped at his coffee as he read the morning’s news.

    He rose a cup to his lips and took a sip, reflexively cringing at the coffee’s bitterness. He kept the cringe on his face as he read through the morning’s news.

    He wrapped a long, thin finger around the sturdy handle of the shiny black receptacle. Slowly, he hoisted the ceramic vessel to his pale pink lips. The steaming liquid rolled acridly around his sensitive tongue, evoking an involuntary reaction to the South American beverage’s bitter taste. The liquid was a stark black, reflecting the pale glow from the screen of his rectangular computer monitor. His concerned green eyes darted from one serifed letter to another, drinking in each words meaning as purposefully as he drank in his coffee.

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    What qualifies as “purple prose”? Examples?

  • Purple prose is generally when the author gets carried away with description, it takes away from the flow of the story with flowery and fancy prose.

    ‘Her silken, sun kissed tendrils made a golden frame around her perfect heart shaped face. Soft, ruby red lips curved up, crystalline sky blue eyes sparkled as she looked down at the brilliant, beaming emerald clasped in her long, elegant, lily white fingers.’

  • You can tell that something is over-described if you feel the uncontrollable urge to throw up, and simultaneously the uncontrollable urge to dig up some dead person’s femur and hit the author with it.

    There really is no concrete definition. It’s one of those “when you see it, you know” things.

  • http://www.fiction-writers-mentor.com/purple-prose…

    My hair is a golden-brown, like sun-backed wheat, that flows in even the slightest blow of wind. It’s as soft as perfect silk and so incredibly long it touches the floor.

  • ‘…his eyes speaking eloquent volumes of walks in the rain and white

    beaches, cool mountain paths and crisp forests. She felt like she was

    floating from one place to another faster than she dared imagine all the

    while his eyes daring her to move, to let go…’

    She answered the smirk on her face touched by a naughty flash in her eyes that tugged at the male part of him. He noticed she sat tall and relaxed with her nubile legs twisted in lotus position. Her poise reminded him of Queens of old sitting dominion over loyal followers in huge temples of worship with rich gold and crimson fabrics cradling them as followers came and dropped down to pay homage.

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