Friday, 14 February 2014

Putative Purple .....

12:23:00 Posted by Louise Barklam , , , , 2 comments
I have read the other entries on the blog this week with great interest.  I had never heard of the term "Purple Prose" before and, as ever, I am finding the process of writing on the blog extremely educational. It made me realise that I am guilty of writing great swathes of purple in to my poetry from time to time, but now that I am aware of it I can remedy it. If I choose to of course. Call me perverse if you will, but I kind of like it!

There is little that I could add to the subject of Purple Prose when it has already been covered so comprehensively thus far, but I though I would post a little something from some years ago when I attempted to start writing a story. Stupidly, I started writing it without any real idea of where I was going with it.  No particular idea of plot, characters, anything really. I thought I would just sit down in front of the computer and type, see where it took me.  Not far, trust me. It amounted to the cheesiest single side of A4 in history:

Darkness.  All enveloping like a blanket, feeling smothered beneath its inky black folds.  Where was she?  In a darkened room without windows, or was it just night time on a cloudy moonless night?  The only thing she could be certain of was that she was inside.  But what?  Senses heightened due to her lack of visibility, she strained to listen for any sounds that might permeate the gloom.  Nothing.  Perfect stillness greeted her, not even the sounds of passing traffic in the distance.  She racked her brain to think where on earth she could possibly be that would be so dark and silent, but even she couldn’t imagine where she was or what was to befall her ……..

As Melanie left her flat that morning after agreeing to go with her friends on a “trip”, she couldn’t help but feel that she shouldn’t have said she would.  Her heart sank as she remembered the conversation:  “So there’ll be Charlotte, Amy, Siobhan, Me and you, if you’ll come along”, wheedled her friend Katie.  “Please say you’ll come, Mel, I don’t think I can put up with the other three if you’re not there, especially under the circumstances!”.

“Katie, that’s not a nice thing to say about your friends.  I dread to think what you say about me when I’m not there!”  Mel replied.

Katie sighed and said:“You know what I mean, Mel.  I just feel like the odd one out sometimes what with Amy and Siobhan being twins and Charlotte wanting to be their triplet!!”

“Ok, Ok, I’ll come.  I just don’t see the appeal of trouping around some old house like international tourists because it’s ‘historical‘!” Melanie retorted.  She had never appreciated architecture or history much, and failed to see why they all had to go with Siobhan and Amy to their fusty old relic of an Uncle’s.  “Alright”, she thought, “it may be the reading of his Will, be we don’t need to go en-mass surely?” 

With a strange look in her eyes, Katie came back with: “Come on Mel, you know fine well that everyone who has been summoned has to ’view’ his property before anything will be read out.  Their Uncle Henry was very particular and proud of his heritage, you can‘t blame a man for wanting to show off a little, even after his death!”.

So that evening, when they arrived at Uncle Henry’s, Melanie’s sour expression spoke volumes.  It was just as she imagined it would be, big rusty gates, oversized Manor house which was far too large for just one inhabitant, and overgrown and unloved gardens.  She knew the old man hadn’t been able to keep up with the gardening in his twilight years and had also let the elements ravage the house itself.  Many years earlier, due to an over fondness for the horses, Uncle Henry had been forced to let his two remaining ‘staff’ go, leaving the place to fall in to rack and ruin.  Thankfully, he managed to hang on to his house, although everything else was sold to pay off his debts.  Big beautiful furniture, carved and ornate, which had been in the family for generations had been auctioned off, along with all but one of his cars, having been sold to collectors.  Left with only enough basic furniture to live in three rooms of the house, the remainder, with the exception of a few decades of dust, was empty.

So there you go, some lovely examples of purple patches in a failed attempt to write a story. To this day, I still haven't figured out the rest of it. Hee hee.

Thanks for reading. x



Ashley R Lister said...

I can't see anything wrong with this. It reads like the exciting start to an intriguing piece of scary fiction.

Purple isn't necessarily bad.


Colin Davies said...

I really enjoyed this.