Friday, July 30, 2010

The Color of Words - A Writer's Palette


Color Your Words

You’ve heard of “The Colors of the Wind.” What Disney aficionado hasn’t? But what about “The Colors of Your Words?”

Like music, color affects the readers mood. When I remodeled my nursery school, and this happened several times over the course of my teaching career, I always asked for “cool” colors for my rugs and walls.

One year we had yellow walls and red rugs. Oh boy! The children got disciplined more that year than in any other. Why? Because “hot” colors excite us. “Cool” colors relax us.

So what role do colors play in your writing?

When you are writing about royalty, what color comes to mind? Did you say purple? That’s the color I think of.

Here is a list that might be useful when you are stumped for what you want your colors to portray.

Red – blood, passion, anger, war
Blue – intellect, water, peace, eternity, sky
Violet – mystical realms, royalty
Gold – sun, godliness, wealth, immortality
Yellow – betrayal, cowardice
Green – Growth, vegetation, youth, envy, illness
Black – death, mourning, ill omen, dreams, sleep
White – purity, virginity, enlightenment.

As a writer consider including colors to evoke emotions, meaning and character.

A few years ago, I won first place in an SCBWI writing contest by describing why the “black” jellybean was the best. Needless to say, the green one was jealous. The red one was angry and hot. The yellow one was cowardly and the purple one was stuck on himself. And it was all done in rhyme. J

So, color your reader’s world with a well-chosen palette.


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