Friday, February 22, 2013


I've been thinking about color a lot lately. Color is often taken for granted by those of us with color vision, but it is so important to our world as writers.

We add imagery to our stories using color. The color of hair, eyes, complexion, along with other attributes, allows the reader to visualize our characters. Colors allow us to set a scene—the soft greens of a woodland, the vibrant reds, oranges, and gold of a summer garden, and the vermilion shades of a sunset.

What would a Regency romance be without rainbow-colored garments and opulent ballrooms? Does the choice of color for a contemporary heroine's blouse tell the reader something about her character? Does the colorful plaide of a Highlander inspire courage?

Color is important. We need to fill our stories with living color.

What about the cover? Color is really important there. I recently participated in a cover design workshop and learned the importance of color. Depending on the background, certain colors recede while others pop. We want our cover colors to catch the eye, especially as a thumbnail.

Do you find color important in novels?

~Dawn Marie


Terry Spear said...

Great post, Dawn! Absolutely color is important. In one of my wolf books, I had where seasons defined the characters--but that also meant color. In one of my books, I mention how one color a character wears has a totally different meaning if he or she wore an entirely different color. I did this in some of my fae books.

In describing a jungle, I mention about the different shades of green. And about the pink dolphins in the Amazon.

What a character chooses color-wise--house, clothes, furniture, helps to define them.

Showing a scene in color helps readers to visualize. If I said the hot fudge chocolate drizzled over the green chocolate chip mint ice cream, all topped off with a bright red cherry--much more interesting then--they had a hot fudge sundae. :)

Who all's ready for a hot fudge sundae? :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

LOL! Terry. I'll be thinking about a colorful hot fudge sundae all day.

Terry Spear said...

LOL, good, Dawn! It's important to think good thoughts. :)

Renee Ann Miller said...

Hmm, I'm hungry now. Nearly lunch time. Think I'll go right for the dessert. Color is so important when reading.It's the icing on the cake. Yes, now I'm equating everything with food. Great post Dawn. Love the skyline picture!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Renee. Isn't it funny how we relate so much to food. Maybe I'll need to do a post about food in novels. :)

Ana Morgan said...

I once tried to catalog all the shades of green I saw in the spring. Emerging aspen leaves have a different hue than oaks or basswood or maples. Grasses have their individual colors. Young broccoli is colored differently than cabbage, cauliflowers, kales and Brussels sprouts--all cousins.
Nature is quite the artist!

Mona Risk said...

Great post Dawn. I like to dress my hero or heroine in shades that match the color of their eyes.