`Twas a Dark and Stormy Night

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  1. Arachnea profile image75
    Arachneaposted 4 years ago

    Wiki's blurb:

    "It was a dark and stormy night" is an often-mocked and parodied phrase[1] written by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford.[2] The phrase is considered to represent "the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing,"[1] also known as purple prose. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_was_a_d … ormy_night).

    So what's your favorite line of purple prose (PP)? My favorite lines of PP is found in a wonderful book of erotica I really enjoyed a number of months ago. The quotes are not appropriate for here, but I use the example because the writing is so good, it would still be considered a well-written book without the spicey content.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
      Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      "The Peanuts character Snoopy always begins his novels with the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night". W  Too bad I never noticed this! ha ha!

      I thought you were going to let us start some fiction with this phrase. I was all excited.  Oh well.

      Uh oh...Hold on…
           T'was was a dark and stormy night. The wind blew sheets of water from the pool in the back yard. The splashing of waves against the side of the garage nearby had me believing someone had fallen in... or worse. I knew it was just the wind, but maybe not. I grabbed my flashlight and my rain coat…
      Right... I get it now.
      http://theadvancededit.com/academic-wri … -avoid-it/

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Sure enough, as I arrived and surveyed the scene, I spotted a human form in the depths of the pool. The figure was dark, clothed and submerging rapidly in the deep end. Without so much as one thought, I dove in. I grabbed it by the collar to bring it to the surface. The victim had some type of weight tied to its belt. How I hoped the victim was still alive…who could it be? A stranger or, horrors, someone I knew?!
             I tugged at the rope attached to the weight and heard the clunk of the weight as the rope gave away. The victim remained motionless, but I put my hand under its armpit to bring it upward toward the surface. I was kicking as hard as I could and loosing air. At one point I let go of the victim and soared to the surface for oxygen. The body was still floating upwards. After one more tug, I brought its face out of the water. I couldn't believe my eyes!

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
          Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          The face was the face of my elderly neighbor, Lilian!
          She was made up per usual, but the makeup was now running everywhere. The shimmering red orange lipstick she wore was smeared all around her lips. Her heavy jet black mascara was also smeared and gave her the mask of a ghoulish bandit. Her silvery matted hair hair, usually prim and pinned in some kind of order, was now flowing on the surface of the black water, glowing in sapphire blue ringlets. Poor Lilian Ashburg!
               I quickly pulled her out of the water, positioned her head properly for mouth to mouth resuscitation, took a deep breath and began. I counted. I watched her chest rise and fall with each breath. I dared not stop. I grew achier and achier with every drag of dry air I inhaled. My throat felt like the sand of a desert. My eyes were burning like forest fires. My stomach, in knots. Still, I dared not stop. I yelled for help. Not a soul heard me... How much longer could I endure this excruciating, agonizing life-saving effort? Somehow, I knew she wasn't dead yet.
                Finally, she sputtered and the cough came. The cough I would never forget… The cough I would treasure until her dying days. Never again would I call her Miss Witch or Lil' Biddy behind her back!  Lilian was alive!

    2. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Purple prose is generally when the author gets carried away with description, it takes away from the flow of the story with flowery and fancy prose.

      'Her silken, sun kissed hair made a golden frame around her perfect heart shaped face. Soft, ruby red lips curved up, crystal sky blue eyes sparkled as she looked down at the brilliant, beaming emerald clasped in her long, elegant, lily white fingers.'

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
        Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        So gross!

        1. profile image0
          Deborah Sextonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          What's so gross?
          I have no favorite purple prose
          When things are over done, they seem ridiculous
          I was giving an example of purple prose

          1. Sed-me profile image83
            Sed-meposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            I think she is saying she doesn't like that kind of flowery writing... maybe...

          2. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Isn't it gross? ...like candy corns and gummy bears strewn on top of mint green frosting on a red velvet cake... and licorice flavored ice cream.
               I thought it was a totally appropriate example!

            1. profile image0
              Deborah Sextonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Thank you, I agree that it sounded awful

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
                Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                But, you did it so well. big_smile I tried, but couldn't go as purple as I thought I could in describing Lillian… Its not that easy. Maybe you could redo that paragraph… if so inclined….

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
    Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years ago

    I think I found one:
    "It was the last daylight hour of a December afternoon…" Philip Roth, The Ghost Writer.
    He also wrote Goodbye, Columbus.

  3. grand old lady profile image84
    grand old ladyposted 4 years ago

    I believe it was also the first line of the book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle:)

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
    Kathryn L Hillposted 4 years ago

    It was the last hour of a December afternoon…P. Roth

    It was early morning on a crisp day in April…

    I left on the last day of the month. I heard the slam of the door and the click of the lock as I descended down the staircase in my sock feet…

    It was a new day yesterday, but an old day now… (J. Tull)

    Just around the corner, just around the bend…( ?)

    Joe was upstairs with the TV on, but I hadn't seen him for hours…

    I have a feeling these are not purple enough…

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

    'Twas a smoggy, sweltering day in the middle of summer: A typical summer-in-the-city type of day... cars honking, trash trucks gathering and people looking half dead, hotter than a match head… oh… whoops...

  6. Sed-me profile image83
    Sed-meposted 3 years ago

    “Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.”
    Rhett Butler

    ― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind


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