To me, "muscular" suggests power, forcefulness. Lean prose isn't necessarily so charged. I don't think this sort of power can be achieved simply by adjectives or word choice ("arduous, hulking, strenuous, mammoth") independent of what a story is trying to achieve. Muscular prose works best in stories with a lot of dramatic moments that require powerful word choice.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
What is Muscular Prose?
A commenter on the CrimeSpace discussion of lean prose asked what muscular prose was. I replied: