Saturday, January 21, 2012

Purple Prose




Please, please, please don’t ever talk about body parts in flowery, magical language. If you can’t bring yourself to use the words commonly used in everyday conversation, write mainstream romance, not erotic romance. One way of identifying purple prose is by your reaction when you read it aloud. Does it make you laugh because it's so ludicrous? Or does it make you shake your head in disgust? If so delete it and try again.

The Australian slang term for tight, brief men’s swimwear is “Budgie Smugglers”. Aussies understand and laugh at the term. Everyone else is totally confused, or finds the term unromantic. Likewise references to bananas, cucumbers, carrots etc are not romantic. A Middle Eastern country recently banned women from touching any of these items in case it gave them inappropriate ideas. Readers of romance all around the world just shook their heads in disbelief. Trust me, there is nothing romantic about a banana unless it’s dipped in chocolate sauce and covered in ice cream.

Helen Woodall
helen.woodall@gmail.com

4 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

Yes, a banana is only sexually appealing covered in chocolate! :)

Amarinda Jones said...

The dumbest one I heard for a penis was love muscle. I say call a dick a dick and move on. It's more imporatnt what the hero does with it than what the author calls it.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

You are both absolutely correct!
Helen

anny cook said...

Ahhh, the ol' love muscle. Then there's the trouser snake--also not so romantic. And the salami...