Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Using Color

I’ve always been aware of color in my writing, but more for its sensory benefits than any emotional or developmental aspects.  When considering color, I am usually trying to figure out if it will be pleasing to the eye.  I use color to flesh out a scene, to help bring my reader into the story.

I’ve never considered color for its emotional impact.  Settings, emotions, etc. were my tools.  But my friend Becky told me she was working on an article about using color in writing.  She made me think about it.  When I close my eyes, I can envision the “color” of my characters.  For instance, in the WIP I’m working on, the heroine is definitely in shades of warm oranges and golds.  She has a feeling of autumn about her.  The hero is dark, a very dark brown like sable, mysterious and impenetrable but not black.

But how can I use this sense of color to develop my characters?  Becky’s article, Writing In Color, talks about the symbolism in color.  If a character dresses in pink with white lace, we think of her has a girly girl.  See a man in black and we think of mysterious, ominous, evil, etc.  Becky puts this into action when she talks about using color for a secondary color.  It works with the reader’s perceptions and creates a small short cut for developing the character.  

Do you think of color when developing your characters?  Do you feel an emotional response to color?  I think it is subconscious.  I’ve since looked back at my characters and gotten a feeling for their colors.  Sure enough they are there.