“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”
Oscar Wilde

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Angelo's proudly serves Kronos Gyros.
Cities show up, cities pass by.
Somewhere East of Osceola, Iowa
Tue 2006-02-21 13:30:14 (in context)
  • 51,704 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 17.75 hrs. revised

Woke up this morning on a train. The earbuds from my husband's broken iPod were piping music into my ears. Breakfast was out of a lunch sack rather than my kitchen. My writing studio was a table at the back of the snack/lounge car. Otherwise, the routine was about the same: Wake up at 6:00 AM when the computer starts playing the Blue Man Group: Audio CD; snooze through until the playlist switches into Exchange: More Than Words; dawdle over breakfast; acquire caffeine; and finally, once I get around to it, write.

This morning we finish up in the approximate location mentioned in this blog entry's title. We have our first transformation scene. Hurrah! Diane has discovered the magical properties of Babba's talisman by way of getting turned into a unicorn. Yay! Mystical wondrous magic girl scene!

That means it's time for Purple Prose Avoidance 101.

Not, you understand, that I'm qualified to give a lesson in Purple Prose Avoidance. But since the hope is that the second draft will be less maudlin than the first, I can at least list some of the worst offenders that got nixed this time around. And here they are, in no particular order:

  • Single-sentence paragraphs.
  • Single-sentence paragraphs that aren't complete sentences.
  • Single-sentence paragraphs that start with "And then."
  • Overuse of words such as "forth," "very," and "wonder."
  • Overuse of parallel structures.
  • Overuse of, well, words.
No, I'm not going to give examples. I'm not even going to try to explain what made these things despicable symptoms of first draft purple prose. You're just going to have to take my word for it that rereading this section of the story was, to be perfectly blunt, embarrassing.


All better now? Maybe. Some better now, for sure. Meanwhile, it's now 3:30 PM CST and I'm at a deli in Chicago around the corner from Union Station. Angelo's, at the corner of Jefferson and Adams. They gots the wi-fi. My train out of Chicago leaves at 8:00, so I may be here awhile.