Literature Thoughts

Literature Thoughts: The Eloquent Prose Writing Style

One of the popular writing styles in Young Adult Literature right now is this poetic prose with its flourishing language that make everyday experiences seem beautiful. It’s more poem-like than normal fiction making the experience of reading it almost spiritual. I am personally a big fan of this writing style, so I wanted to create some discussion about it.

My Definition: What I refer to as Eloquent Prose, is a form of poetic writing that often features beautiful analogies, descriptive language, many comparisons to nature (Either the beauty or the severity of it), the feelings of the characters are expanded on more extensively than the actual plot, it’s almost like reading soulful music, it’s expressive and passionate.

(Ex. “When he plays
all the flowers swap colors
and years and decades and centuries
of rain pour back into the sky” –The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson)

Different from Purple Prose: Purple prose is a writing style where the author uses an overabundance of descriptive language to describe what’s going on. It’s often seen as lazy writing. (Ex. The lazy black  fuzzy soft cat walked in sassy poignant manner across the green freshly cut, smelling of pesticides and the death of a thousands unhappy broken shattered blow to smithereens dreams.)

Common Characteristics:

  • You can’t write like this without sounding like everything you seen is wonderous and everyone you meet is worth falh.ling in love with
  • Mostly seen in Romance novels
  • Metaphors, similes and Analogies galore
  • Often comparisons to nature in both a beautiful and terrifying way
  • A spiritual experience
  • Focus on what the characters are feeling, and describes these emotions in elaborate detail
  • The characters are built up brick by brick, mostly focusing on how they view the world, which is normally different from the rest of us. It’s like seeing the world in high-definition
  • The wording pulls on something in your chest that you didn’t know existed as the little voice inside of your head just repeats “Yes yes yes yes yes!“. You didn’t know you needed to read this book to see yourself, and even maybe life itself, more clearly, but you’re so glad you did (I am so biased on this issue, I admit it).

Examples:

  • The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – Grief and Love are two sides of the same coin. Nelson’s writing style enhances the contortion of these twisted emotions until the line blurs together.
  • I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson- Twins bound by different struggles each finding love. Great imagery in this one through the use of otherworldly analogies.
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – Elaborate love story pulled together beautiful language. Very Romeo and Juliet.
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven-A portrayal of mental illness, but also love and grief. The way that Finch behaves is very typical for characters in this writing style.
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman–  The writing style in this one is slightly different because it’s used to portray the inside of the main characters mind, specifically their mental illness. It’s still beautifully written, just not about love.

 

What are your thoughts on this writing style? Do you like or dislike any of these books? Should this trend continue in YA?

That’s all for now, carry on your merry ways!

-Leah

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