Archive for July 30, 2009

Adventures In Purple

Posted: July 30, 2009 in Purple Prose
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Ah, Purple Prose; sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. The prominence now days of the teenager writer it would appear, or oft for those that write for them.

Lets face it, we all at one time or another wrote in that manner. A comment made earlier in the day made me think of it again, and to dig out something I started on earlier in the year, which aimed deliberately to be so purple it was mauve. Possibly lavender; Aubergine even.

So here it is, in all its purple glory.

Darkness, that vast and o’erwhelming gloom that did with all oppressive vigour bare down upon the firmament, across whose sable breadth was strewn shimmering, sparkling points of iridescent light, all askew where they fell, as if unto great mounts of diamonds that in the depths were scattered upon which distant radiance was reflected and scattered back in scintillating array; darkness, grim in its majesty, enveloped all in its encompassing grasp.

Yet that which was the tyranny of the shade of night was no so inviolate in its very essence that undaunted challenge could not be raised to o’erthrow it, for such gage had, with audacious fervour, been cast into the very maw of that oppressor, cast unto it by promethean orb that encroached upon its stygian domain, all as yet removed from that who would mark its very approach, though not, as it would seem, unobserved, for across the far-flung horizon of the heavens, where eternal heights did, all encompassing, gash the skies; rough hewn spires and perilous pinnacles draped in the purity of whitest snow, upon whose craggy slopes did sure-footed beats with tenacious resolve stride; across such horizons did spill, like rolling waves before the unseen storm, light of molten bronze to grace the coming day.

Fragile, ephemeral wisps; royal stained, strung out like delicate lace that dances and frays before the flickering zephyr, clung low o’er the eternal peaks; bruised the burgeoning dawn, dark against the light.

Glorious advance, deepening crimson, bronze and vibrant amethyst, driving forth, ever onwards, a multitude of hues akin that assailed that which unto recent history had gloried in its dominance, gloom in full and ignoble retreat.

Needs work obviously, but for just four sentences and 275 words, it does a good purple prose job of describing the sun rising. I may even expand on it at a later date for more Adventures in Purple fun.

TVTropes has a page devoted to Purple Prose; just try not to get too lost in there and remember to come out for food at some stage.


Recently came across a post at Obsidian Bookshelf called Fantasy Writing Cliches to Avoid.

I’m going to make my way through the list over a couple of days and see what I have and haven’t avoided.

An historic castle is sometimes really tiny!
I seem to have avoided this by not really having castles. There are palaces and there are forts, but given the lack of a feudal period with knights and the like in my setting, castles never really featured.

Appearance of character.
Keep it to a minimum.
Yes and no. While main characters do get fleshed out more, it is usually only a few lines, not whole paragraphs. Others can get a more basic description. For instance, Abasan is described as wiry, dark-haired man with a narrow face. I do like to give basic details; hair and eye colour, height and body type. Facial hair or scars. That kind of thing.

British Culture.
Don’t make your British readers laugh their arses off.

Pass this one. I’m an Australian and write, I think, with an Australian style and language. At least I try too.

Characters – Ethnicity
Why is everyone a Northern European?
Can announce I pass this with flying colours. One culture, the Maedari, are of this type, but they are alone. There are others who are Mediterranean or Slavic or African or Semetic or Indian in appearance, as well as others. A good, broad spread.

Characters, Mary Sue.
We don’t want a too-perfect version of yourself!
Maybe once, but not anymore. I hope. None of the current crop of characters look anything like me really, or act like me. They have flaws and weaknesses to balance out strengths.

We will look at some more of these tomorrow.

I’ve gone through each page for each short story currently available and finished off the background notes for each. Nothing profound; just a little something relating to how the story came about or something of interest within the story and what was behind it.