You know how when you're around the campfire telling ghost stories and such, and the story always starts out,"it was a dark and stormy night? That came from somewhere. And it came from a book called Paul Clifford, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
The whole sentence actually reads, "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness." Wow. A sentence like that is called purple prose. Purple prose basically describes a style of writing that's so over the top, it pulls you out of the story and you find yourself scratching your head and saying. No, im not smart but apparently i DID learn something in the three writing classes i took incollege! =)
I have a twisted sense of humor, so I find these hilarious. And I've been inspired to try my hand at my own purple prose. It's surprisingly difficult to come up with on purpose!
Mrs. McCarthy's khaki-colored dachshund/poodle mix, a dachsoodle, if you will, acquired a hungry gleam in his eye, much like the zoo-bound polar bear had when he caught sight of the pretty young zookeeper/breakfast, every time he saw the bag of 100% organic kibble waiting for him in the laundry room, which smelled exactly like you might imagine.
When Dax, the surfer-dude turned wannabe litigation attorney with a penchant for Skoal chewing tobacco, leaned in for a kiss, Jill couldn't help but wonder if the churning class five hurricane of stomach acid raging deep in her belly, warring with the cheese quesadillas and churros she'd had for lunch, was a result of his Hersheys-and-cream colored gaze or his breath.
Tears, saltier than the Dead Sea and heavier than a thousand anvils, tore a jagged path down Ella's rose petal cheek, only serving to remind her that her pain could not be drowned by a thousand mocha frappucinos as she had hoped.
Light slashed through the crack in the doorway like a knife through the throat of one of Jack the Ripper's victims, illuminating Carrie's soul-slaughtering sense of guilt as she downed just one more spoonful of Neapolitan Dynamite.