Whatever kind of fiction we write, most of us want to give our prose that extra flair and sparkle. How do we learn to do that? How casual can we be while still looking ‘correct’? When is prose powerfully poetic and when is it purple, stodgy and even ridiculous?
Today I’m at Multi-Story.co.uk, exploring what makes an effective prose style – and the knots we can get ourselves into as we try to develop it. Do come over.
Published by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris
Former ghostwriter coming out of the shadows with books of my own. My Memories of a Future Life. Lifeform Three (longlisted for the World Fantasy Award). Ever Rest (finalist in the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize).
Humorous memoir: Not Quite Lost: Travels Without A Sense of Direction.
Series for writers: Nail Your Novel.
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View all posts by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris
13 thoughts on “Five tips for writing good prose – post at Multi-Story”
Congrats, Roz. Excellent advice, enjoyably put.
Great post, Roz. All your points were things I had to learn the hard way as I transitioned from technical writing to creative writing. Even now, over ten years down the track, I recognize that my first drafts are always going to be a kind of mental shorthand that needs to be decoded before it’s fit for human consumption. Spare, precise writing may get the message across but it will lack any kind of emotional content, and prose is ultimately a vehicle for empathy.
Fortunately, Andrea, our first drafts are a secret between ourselves and the computer.
Amen to that! 😀
Ah the old purple prose, so seductively it lies on the page, flattering you for your creative genius, telling you that no one else has used the english language as good as this before. “Admire me.” it says, “I put all the other sentences around me to shame.” One of these days I’ll learn to recognise it the first time it bats its curly eyelashes.
Purple was never a robe I liked but a gentle magenta sometimes has me hooked.
Or a spruce puce.
GREAT article, Roz! I read it through and bookmarked it. 🙂
I really liked this article, Roz. I’m going to share it with my writing group on facebook.