Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Color Your World

Color Your World
What colors do you choose when you write? The usual spectrum doesn’t do justice to good writing. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. Brown. White. Black.
Branching out into other common color descriptions doesn’t help: maroon, emerald, aqua, chocolate, charcoal, and the like.
How can you punch up your prose? Consider tying the color to your subject matter. Does your hero love the ocean? Green could become seaweed. Does he love motorcycles? Silver might become chrome, or nickel-plated.
Is he into hockey? White as ice? Black as a puck? Red as a nosebleed on center ice?
How about your heroine? Does she love to bake? Brown becomes cinnamon or nutmeg or toast. White as coconut? Yellow as saffron?
Maybe she paints—a huge array of color names are in a paint box. Alizarin crimson instead of red.
Consider color descriptors that fit your story. Carnal red, for example, in erotica. Lab coat white for a doctor story. Pull up the environment in your imagination and go for it.
Good sources for unique color descriptors:
-Raid your spice drawer and cupboards.
-Cruise your household. Walk the neighborhood.
-Clothing catalogs.
-Art supply catalogs.
Take a clipboard, write down what you find, and blend with your prose. Make your reader say “I love that description!”