Although purple prose sounds pretty and like a way you would want your writing described, it's actually not a good thing to have your writing described this way. If someone calls your purple writing prose, essentially, they're calling it flowery. They think it's too wordy, formal or trying too hard to be poetic. Although there are some genres and authors who think purple prose is a badge of honor as a writer, we'll let you decide that for yourself. In this article, we'll dive into what purple prose is, and where it comes from in history, take a look at some examples, and ultimately go over how to avoid it as a writer. What is Purple Prose? Purple prose is writing that is too formal, poetic, or wordy. It's when too many adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors are used to describe things. Generally, there is no specific rule about what is or is not purple prose; it's more of a “You know it when you see it” kind of thing. It's also subjective sometimes; not everyone agrees if some pieces are purple prose. With that in mind, it can be hard to define exactly what it is, but the novelist and poet Paul West had this to say about it: “It takes a certain amount of sass to speak up for prose that's rich, succulent and full of novelty. Purple is immoral, undemocratic and insincere; at best artsy; at worst, the exterminating angel of […]
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