The Awesomeness of Purple Prose

Oct 21, 2008 by

Purple Prose: Purple prose is a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so overly extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader’s response.

This is an excerpt from a book I am presently reading. Does is it fit the example of purple prose? You decide:

“The broad head of the shaft entered her sex, past the slick folds of flesh, moving slowly in. The inexorable grace of a dragon’s head penetrating, a hot, moist cave where the maiden waited. But she did not tremble in fear – much. he held her close and, Great Lady, he was so big.

Dragon’s head, hot, moist cave and the big size, makes for a fun time?

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  1. Noooo, not purple at all. I often think of dragon heads and caves in relation to sex. πŸ˜›

  2. Personally the idea of a maiden waiting in my cooch freaks me the fuck out. πŸ˜€

  3. I don’t know if it’s purple but it sure is a turn off. πŸ˜‰

  4. Aw, don’t we all want the lusty power of a dragon in our womb?

  5. I read it and was dumbstruck…

    Are you going to keep reading?

  6. ‘he was so big’ isn’t a purple prose but the other two are. Most writer’s use purple prose. Actually, I’d say they all do at some point. Some more than others.

  7. Orannia: This is just a small taste of what I am reading. I must perform a service to the readers and give my views to protect those who are scared of purple prose, or those who embrace it! πŸ˜€

  8. The first and last sentences were okay, but inexporable grace of a dragon’s head in a hot-moist cave? aren’t caves usually usually damp and freezing. And dragon’s grace…er…not exactly an imagine I want.

    I’ll never be able to read a dagon book entering the cave the same way again. Oh wait, yes I can. πŸ˜›

    Oh, oh, you just inspired me. I see a redhead next to a dragon cave *cough* yelling at the dragon. Ahem. ^_~

  9. The mental picture conjured by that passage made me turn purple.

  10. Is it supposed to be ‘inexorable’ or ‘inexplorable’? Either is confusing, actually.

  11. Megan: It should be “inexorable”. My bad. I fixed it.

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  13. MK: Darn. I should have mentioned the viscous fluid part!

  14. Oooooo! LOL This is purple. Or not just purple, but what is the word I’m searching for….oh yeah, INSANE.

    I agree with LL: I got no maiden in there I know of. Dragons, stay out!

  15. But I don’t know, when I read it again, if the maiden wasn’t in there, I’d like it, I think. It has a certain rhythm, and it sort of depends on the book as a whole.

  16. But CJ, don’t dragons has long talented tongues?

  17. Dragon. huh. Fire breathing?

  18. yeah, you know, I suppose that burning sensation is never a good sign.

  19. C2

    I keep picturing a tiny tattoo sign on her inner thigh – Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Here be dragons.

    Just me? Yup, I thought so.

  20. Makes me think of that corona-shaped penis we were discussing. Eesh!

  21. And the “he was so big” part doesn’t bother me. The dragon’s head? Um, when I think of that I think of things like Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern. Those are not little lizards…


  22. YEESH!

    Now see? It’s writing like that that makes everyone pick on the Purple Prose.

    There’s an art to writing with that technique. I personally feel like Bertrice Small is one of the very few authors who do Purple Prose right. Okay, sometimes even SHE goes over the top, but I still think she’s a godddess.

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