Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flowery is for Flowers

While Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse is next on my reading list, I downloaded a sample of another author's book for review. While I posted recently about Blah, Blah, Blah Books, the sample book is overwritten and the prose flowery.

The book's description includes the words "diaphanous confection," so I was curious enough to review the sample, since I was, ta-da, in search of an example of over-writing and flowery prose.

According to, "diaphanous" synonyms include airy, attractive, beautiful, bonny, charming, lacy, light, refined, and well-made. "Confection" synonyms are depicted as arrangement, blend, brew, composition, to list a few. 

So the book is a "charming blend" of the items included in the rest of the book description. Got it! Finally.

If a typical reader has to stop and look up the words used in a book to discover their meaning, the reader is pulled out of the story and more than likely the book is overwritten, in that the paragraphs are filled with plumped purple prose.

From the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which honors bad writing, the 2012 winning submission for purple prose is as follows:
William, his senses roused by a warm fetid breeze, hoped it was an early spring’s equinoxal thaw causing rivers to swell like the blood-engorged gumlines of gingivitis, loosening winter’s plaque, exposing decay, and allowing the seasonal pot-pouris of Mother Nature’s morning breath to permeate the surrounding ether, but then he awoke to the unrelenting waves of his wife’s halitosis. — Guy Foisy, Orleans, Ontario
All I can say is 1) this is a prime example of purple prose, 2) congratulations Mr. Foisy, and 3) ewww.

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