♫ Tan Shoes with Pink Shoelaces ♫

We’re singing again. Dodie Stevens this time, because the song crossed my mind while writing this post.


Steve Harvey of Family Feud

One day each week, I head thirty miles north to visit with my mother. I take her to the grocery store, shopping, for occasional doctor visits, and four times a year, we gripe and complain on the way to our accountant for our quarterly taxes. We generally have dinner before heading back to her house to gossip visit some more and watch the Game Show Network. I run up and down the stairs during commercials to do her laundry.

Yesterday, I was treated to a gorgeous drive on the way up. The fall colors are nearly at their peak now, and with the sun shining, it was miles upon miles of aurulent, melichrous, coccineous, vitellary, badious, and rubious leaves.

The color show reminded me that the Weekly Writing Challenge this week was to incorporate a splash of color into your post. I thought of my favorite color, yellow. It’s a cheerful color. We live in a yellow house, but I don’t want to write about my house. I’m mad at it right now because it allowed a power surge to wipe out my microwave and a television this week. (Public Service Announcement: Buy good Imagepower strips. Most of our electronics were plugged into heavy-duty power strips, and although four of them were fried and off to a dumpster today, the items plugged into them survived.)

I do have this love affair with pink. I have a fabulous, double breasted, pink jacket with a high collar. It’s quite retro. Pink shoelaces show up in my books.

Aha! That’s it! Color in writing.

Do you give a lot of thought to color when you write? Beyond the fact that a room was blue, the tablecloth was white, or the villain was wearing all black? Do you use color stereotypically?

This is something that probably comes up in Writing 101, but we all know I didn’t take that class. I searched one of my books and found references to colors that work just fine in their context, but had I given more thought to color specifically, I may have tried some other words and descriptions.

As my mother was TWO HOURS in the eye doctor’s office yesterday, I spent the time searching and reading on my Nook about using color in your writing. That explains the obscure color words I used above to describe the leaves. I was surprised to find that these words are also considered obscure:
Chartreuse – Humph! I put a guy in a chartreuse thong in one of my books.
Beige – What? Surely you’ve owned a pair of beige pants.
Hoary – I’ve heard my husband use this word. Oh, wait. Maybe not in reference to a color.
Indigo – Everyone knows this color, don’t they?
Khaki – More pants, usually with too many pockets.
Maroon – Come on. Obscure? Bugs Bunny uses this color word often. Image
Violet – Didn’t your grandmother have a little pot of violets in her house? You know this color.

Colors can show mood in your writing. Every color suggests a feeling. Red denotes passion and action; blue is trust and peace; yellow for wisdom and happiness; green for balance, growth, and nature. There are many sites that will give you a wide range of colors and their meaning/perception.

Colors can help to set the tone of your scene, and by adding strong adjectives, you can set a powerful stage with wonderful imagery.

There are thousands of colors across the spectrum for you to choose from when describing objects. Once you’ve decided upon your base color, change it to a color from the same family that will give your writing more vigor. Instead of a red sweater, choose a scarlet sweater, or even a ruby red sweater.

Many writers use similes and metaphors with color. The walls were a putrid green like a zombie Imageskateboarding toward me to devour my flesh.  They can be a great way to convey color images.

I’ve finally thrown my hat into the ring for NaNoWriMo. I think it will be a good kick in the pants to get me going strong. I only have two paragraphs written so far for my new book, and I don’t have to use them at all toward my novel/word count in November. As my setting will be Chicago at Christmas, I’m going to pay more attention to color in my writing this time.

Do you use color in your writing? Do you rely on it to set mood, tone, and feel?

P.S. – If you missed it, that crazy Stairway to Heaven post last week was Freshly Pressed. A lot of people stopped by to leave creative poetry and/or fun comments if you’d like to take a look.

38 thoughts on “♫ Tan Shoes with Pink Shoelaces ♫

  1. A guy gets locked out of his car, a passerby sticks his butt against the doorlock and is if by magic, the door opens… How did you do that? The first guy asks, pleasantly surprised and somewhat perplexed. The passerby smiles and says “I have Khaki trouserts on” 😀

  2. I love puce. Marie Antoinette was rocking that pinky beige, to which her husband disdainfully commented, “It’s the color of a flea,” and puce was born!

    I use animals more than color for symbolism in my stories. One character will be described as a dog (I know, shocking to think such a man would be in smut), and henceforth he might have puppy dog eyes or seem to wag his tail.

    • I can certainly see using animal attributes; they’re completely relatable. It must be fun to do historical research for novels. Years ago, I read historical romance and was always fascinated with the true history I encountered.

    • Comments and poems were still dribbling in on Sunday; it was quite a whirlwind. When new owners move in next door, if they do anything with the stairs, I’ll have to take a picture and do a follow-up post. 🙂

  3. Yay! I’m glad you’re doing NaNo. Do let me know your username so I can add you. =D
    As for colours… I haven’t actually given that topic much thought, but the writing challenge has got me thinking about it. If I use it in my novels it’s usually to describe the colour of clothes or something like that, haha.

    • Breezy Books for NaNo. Do you participate in the forums? Will I want to? … I definitely think I could use color more to my advantage in writing. I’m going to give “color” an edit after I’ve completed my next book. I’ll look for ways to boost images at that time – unless I do well with it while writing.

      • Hmm. I couldn’t find you! Maybe you could add me? I’m starrynightblue. And I don’t participate often, but I’ll warn you ahead of time that you fill find them distracting, haha.

  4. Another very informative post, my friend–one that didn’t show up in my reader until almost 11 hours after you posted it by the way. I don’t usually make good use of color in my writing-unless of course its when I am drawing my family with my Crayola Washable Markers. 😉

    • Why write about color when you can just show it with your markers! You achieved a lovely, blood-red, crimson color as it flowed from your villain’s heel. … My reader is worthless too. Sometimes, it gives me the same posts over and over and over again. Speaking of which, I’m going to give it another try to see what I’ve missed in the last 24 hours.

      • Could be one reason why my page views seems to get lower every day, depsite picking up a new follower here and there almost every day. Or, maybe I’m just writing total crap! I went to Mark Armstrong’s blog this morning. Geez!!! I have missed a ton of his posts. That kind of irks me. He’s another one of my favorites. Finished the book by the way, haven’t had a chance to tell you what a nice job you did!!! Loved it, and will be reading more Susan in the near future.

        • Sometimes I have to literally go to the list of blogs I follow and click each one to see if I missed something. I wonder if clearing cache, clearing cookies, booting my machine, standing on my head, and holding my mouth just so would help. … So glad you were able to finish the book, and I’m so relieved you liked it! I know you are a voracious reader, and just didn’t know how it would do for you. 🙂 Thank you!

          • Voracious? Not so much, my dear. I wish! Avid…maybe..sometimes. It was really a nice change of pace. I’ve been plodding through Harry Houdini, making of America’s first Super Hero, or something like that. Good book, but exhaustive accounts of handcuff escapes. If you’ve read about one handcuff escape, haven’t you read about them all? Did you see my in-joke nod to you in my last post? See if you can find it. Won’t be hard. 😉

  5. A very colorful post! That was very weird about the aurulent, melichrous, coccineous, vitellary, badious, and rubious leaves. All we’ve got here in New Hampshuh is your basic red, orange, brown, and yellow… : P

    Congrats on getting Pressed! Excellent! I’m sorry about the TV and the microwave. I’m sure it had something to do with that Phantom Staircase next door… : P

    Mighty nice of you to be such a big help to your mom. She’s a lucky woman, and I sure hope she’s bought all your books! : )

    • I just love how your comments always leave me with a big smile on my face. 🙂 <—- see, me smiling. I'm actually the lucky one. My mom is my number one editor, proofreader, and she markets to all of the relatives.

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