Using Color in Your Writing

Lately, I've been asked to review several books. There are some that I wished I could've edited.

What I've noticed is many is the lack of the mention of color. Color adds so much to the reader's enjoyment.
Besides the obvious, the color of the characters' hair and clothing, think about all the other colors you come across every single day. Maybe you don't notice the ones that surround you all the time, but pay attention when you go new places.

When I was in New York my one and only time, it was spring, tulips bloomed in the median of the street in a glorious shade of pink--but everyone wore black. Doesn't that give you a visual? I also was astounded at how bright the colors were--Manhattan looked just like it does in the movies and TV. (That may sound silly, but that's what I thought.)

Colors of the landscape can add a lot to the mood--if everything is grey and dark the reader will know that something mysterious or bad is about to happen.

Sometimes having a character wear a certain color all the time can add to the personality.

When you're writing, think color--all different shades of color. It will add so much to your writing.

Books by Marilyn


Sue Roebuck said…
Very true. An expert at using color is Annie Proulx.
Linda Leszczuk said…
Now that I think of it, JD Robb/ Nora Roberts uses a lot of color in describing characters and settings and sometimes works it into the action, i.e. Dallas picking on Peabody because of a color choice.
Hi, Sue, you're right about Annie Prouliz. Color is really important in our lives, should be just as important in what we write.

Dawn Colclasure said…
I definitely agree. One reader wanted to know why I pointed out a character noticing the color of another character's eyes. I did so because he has blue eyes. I always notice blue eyes -- they just REALLY stand out. But that could just be me. :) Still, yes, colors are definitely important to include.

By the way, I mentioned this blog in the January issue of my newsletter, in the "Blog Brag" section. Find it here:

Keep up the good work!
Thank you, Dawn, for the mention.


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