Letters on Literary Devices 7: Cease and Desist


The Color Purple

July 18, 2014

0001 Prose Street

Horace, Greece 65BC

Dear Mr. Purple,

This law firm represents [Writer and Authors Everywhere]. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.

We are writing to notify you that your uncalled for “Purpling”  of perfectly good prose infringes upon the literary preferences and good sense of readers the world over. Accordingly, you are hereby directed to:


[Writers and Authors Everywhere] is the owner of [Prose]. Under the laws of Good Taste and Sensibility [Writers and Authors Everywhere]’s ownership has been in effect since the date that [Prose] was invented. Thus, all aspects of [Prose] are protected by Good Taste and Sensibility.

It has come to our attention that you have been “Purpling” [Prose]. We have in our possession countless examples of your Distasteful renderings. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Over use of adjectives, adjective phrases, adjective clauses, and other descriptors
  • Over use of adverbs.
  • Over use of “Flowery Language”
  • Use of language deemed “Too Formal”
  • Use of language deemed “Too Scholarly”
  • Overuse of big words, not for the purpose of specific meanings, but for the sole purpose of “Sounding Smart”
  • Overuse of vivid imagery. “Image Overload”

Under 17 GTS 504 of Good Taste and Sensibility code, the consequences of “Prose Purpling”  include statutory damages of and between Snide Remarks and Complete Ridicule of an author’s work at the discretion of readers and literary critics globally. Damages up to Chastisement are reserved for “Willful Purpling”. If you continue to engage in “Prose Purpling” after receiving this letter, your actions will be evidence of “Willful Purpling”.

If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within this time period, [Authors and Writers Everywhere] is entitled to use your failure to comply as evidence of “Willful Purpling”, and to seek the damages listed in the previous paragraph.

Before taking this step, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to “murder you darlings” to remove your purplish tint, your purple patches from [Prose] within (10)days. To comply with this demand, please return to your home in color spectrums, rainbows, etc. and stay out of literature.


[The Defenders of Literature]

[1111 Rhetorical Lane]

[Fictionville, FI, 11111]

If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.


Eric James-Olson





About Eric James-Olson

Eric James-Olson writes novels and short stories. Currently, he's working on a coming-of-age novel set in the Panhandle of West-Virginia. Check out the "Novels by Eric James-Olson" tab above for the titles of his other books. In addition to writing, James-Olson is a high school English teacher, an amateur woodworker, and an outdoor enthusiast. He lives with his wife and daughter in West Virginia. View all posts by Eric James-Olson

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