By: AJ Humpage
Part 1 looked at some of the myths, or misconceptions, that surround purple prose, so it’s time to look at some truths – or at least realities - about this misunderstood concept.
It’s Down to Perspective
The plain truth is that it’s not as bad as people assume.
Assumptions aside, prose – purple or otherwise – is about individuality and perspective. Some people love the poetry and nuance of prose, others don’t. Some appreciate its form, others simply can’t see it. Incredibly, some writers don’t like vivid writing. For the most part, it’s a personal judgement call.
That said, prose should only be colorful and descriptive for the important scenes, rather than every scene. So if a reader comes across some intelligent and wonderful description, it’s immediately labelled as purple prose, when in fact it’s nothing of the sort. This generally happens because the reader doesn’t understand the concept of context.
You can’t please everyone.
Purple Can be Pretty
Pretty prose lifts the scene from the page – the reader can see, hear, smell and touch it. Choose the right words, the right sentence constructions, and let the narrative breathe. Purple can be pretty if it’s done correctly and sparingly – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the odd dash of vibrant, colorful description nestled in otherwise boring beige narrative.
Without adjectives and the adverbs, the purple diminishes from your prose and becomes less noticeable, making the work easier to read.
Description Must be Vivid to Work
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