Improve your Writing Tip #9 - Beware of Purple Prose

May 10, 2013, 0 Comments

Improve your writing

You know you're clever, and you want other to know it too. Thinking like this can lead you straight into one of the biggest pitfalls of the aspiring writer - Purple Prose. Purple Prose is writing that is so extravagant, and flowery that it ruins the flow of your writing by drawing excessive attention to itself. This includes use of clever words (why use pachydermic when you can just say elephant), adverbs (we've mentioned their evils before), and multiple adjectives.

The phrase Purple Prose comes from a paragraph by the Roman poet Horace. "Your opening shows great promise, and yet flashy purple patches; as when describing a sacred grove, or the altar of Diana, or a stream meandering through fields, or the river Rhine, or a rainbow; but this was not the place for them. If you can realistically render a cypress tree, would you include one when commissioned to paint a sailor in the midst of a shipwreck?"

If you want to show you're clever do so by maintaining the flow of your writing and keeping the reader's attention until the end.

Try our writing improvement software.

Next improve your writing tip: Improve your Writing Tip #10 - Chop away deadwood

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