Deb Stover's The Purple Prose Eater
Purple Prose. What is it? Where did this term originate, and how did romance authors become the lucky professionals to be slapped with this label? Mr. Webster failed to provide a definition, so I felt duty-bound to compose one myself.
Purple prose consists of words and phrases that sound stilted, overly descriptive, or cliché. Now that doesn't mean we should never use beautiful, descriptive language. Not at all. What it means is the overuse of it irritates your reader and can mutate into the dreaded purple prose.
The main area where romance writers in particular are accused of inflicting the reader with purple prose is in love scenes. Why? In the seventies, when authors first threw open the bedroom doors on love scenes in romance novels, writers had to devise creative ways to describe human anatomy. Apparently, the powers-that-be felt the reading public could only handle one shock at a time, so we formulated all sorts of interesting words and phrases to substitute for more clinical terms.
We still use euphemisms in love scenes, though I find them much more realistic than they once were. However, beginning writers will often depend on the euphemisms of the past, rather than simply calling a breast a breast.
To read more, and trust me you'll want to because she includes examlpes, click HERE