Thursday, March 1, 2018

Random Writing Tips – Using colorful language

Years ago a friend of mine once jokingly said that there were only like six colors.  If you showed him paint swatches of teal, azure, and cerulean he’d say they were all blue.  He didn’t go in for – what he jokingly referred to as – female colors. 

One of the things often found in writing advice articles, is that the author should use fewer boring words and more descriptive words.  For example, the music wasn’t loud, it was deafening.  This can be easy for colors since there are millions of words for colors.  But it’s easy to go too far.  If you have a character on a boat and you say that they turned harlequin, you’d probably just confuse people. 

There’s a … grey area, if you will, between using the six colors my friend recognizes, and the millions of other colors.  The challenge is finding the right ones to use between the boring “bluish” and the more obscure “keppel.” It’s almost enough to turn writers madder.

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