Thursday, June 23, 2016

Color Your Words

Avoid the obvious when writing about nature, sky or the color of the sea. Search beyond azure or baby blue to pique the reader's curiosity. Use color to describe experience and stimulate readers' imaginations.  Cliches such as "green as grass" or "emerald green"  do not evoke a unique view. Take out other colored pencils to write your scenes.

Create a mood, reveal a point of view with color.  John Updike describes the sad ambiance of a street with "old asphalt sidings the tint of bruise and dung."

Discover visual imagery to fit the style and tone of your writing.  Search for offbeat but recognizable items to stand for colors and more.

If you're waiting in a lounge during your car's oil change, look around.  Notice the objects, upholstery, arrangement of chairs and food.  Then search the items in the service bays.  Later when you describe boredom, bring these images into the scene. Let the taste of waiting room coffee add discomfort.

What do you notice when driving through the bubbles at a car wash? Keep track of the collage of color to use in writing.

Sandra Cisneros colors the world of her novel,Carmelothrough the senses of its 
Mexican characters. A church is the "color of flan."  A woman becomes a "fried tortilla color."  She writes of shawls black as Cototepec pottery, like the huitlacoche a corn mushroom or fresh-cooked black beans.  She adds flavor and texture with color and metaphor.

Avoid using colors to describe emotions such as unhappiness connected to blue. Consider what will provide a color of delight.

Look into white for texture, shapes and ideas. Do you find laughter in the rose?

Barry Lopez uses rainbow tints to described pottery such as raucous purple. coy yellow, belligerent red and ardent white.  Search the thesaurus for fresh ideas.  Then you can avoid using fire-engine red or white pearl.

Color Your Words:

l. Observe a colorful eatery.  What colors can you list?  Transfer them to another environment to show emotion.
2. Describe the sea and sky during a storm without using blue, gray or green.  Be creative and fresh with color choices.
3.  Show an angry man in colors to reflect his emotions.

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