Writing in Color


If you expect everyone to see colors the way you envision them while you’re writing, then you may be disappointed. I may refer to blood as crimson while you think of it more as a ruby red. You may think the sky a soft Carolina blue, while I would paint the sky with a tint of periwinkle. While this may not seem a huge issue, it can complicate how your reader perceives your work.

You want your reader to be fully immersed in the world you are creating. If your scene is set in a desert, you want the reader to feel the oppressive heat and the choking, dryness in the back of their throat. In a forest, you want them to feel a thousand of small beady eyes following them as they walk through the forest, cracking twigs beneath their boots. What does this have to do with color? Because you want to entrap your reader into the world you have created, and hold their attention until they have read the last page.

Color does this. Color brings life to your world.

Subtly walk with your reader through their journey by offering  small suggestive descriptions of items, details which don’t come naturally to mind but whose presence creates the fiber of reality. And by this, I mean things that are out of the norm.

For example: “as the horse galloped down the brown dirt path, we observed the majesty of the luscious, green and the beautiful, blue sky.”  We didn’t need to be told the grass was green, the dirt was brown, and the sky was blue. Our minds naturally picture those things. But could that same paragraph be further improved? Likely. Rather than focusing on common, every day details, try to focus on the details others usually skip. Mention the things that would be out of place in your day to day world. Or better, describe something common in a way that’s never been done before.

Further, if you’re writing a fantasy special care must be made to expand on this idea in your created world. In these stories you have to build your world from the ground up, without delay, to allow your reader to be fully invested. Otherwise, the reader can become lost. The reason goes back to my original point about people seeing different shades of color while both looking at the same sky. You want them to see your world as you intended, so you must provide the intricate details of this world so that they can envision it.

For example, Abracadabraland is your world. You put your characters into it and create the environment for your reader to become immersed. It is your job to make sure your reader can differentiate between your Abracadabraland and someone else’s Alanutrioland. In these situations, it’s as much the big story as the small details that truly make the difference. However, in the end, it’s the small details that will allow for deeper investment of your readers, and it will also allow you to delve deeper into the intricate lives of your characters. Speaking of which…..


Until next time…..



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