Or, ‘who stole the palette?’ It seems we start out as children with an array of colors available to us. The crayon box is filled with rainbows of shades of every color. The last time I looked, you could get 150 colors in a single, large package of crayons. Sadly, the colors available to us are reduced as we progress.
Soon we’re expected to move on from crayons to pencil crayons, with a much smaller range to choose from. By the time you get to senior high, unless you’re in an art class, you don’t really ‘need’ more than the basic eight or so colors that will enable you to differentiate various countries of the world from one another. When was the last time a math teacher asked you to work in color?
Once you have a paying job, you may still need a pen, but unless you do some accounting, (or possibly banking,) basic blue or black is all you need. Should you work in retail, you get green for last year’s sales, red for your estimates, and blue or black for actual sales this year.
Life tends to follow this sad course. We start out looking at rainbows, and end up resenting getting wet. The more interesting among us tend to resist the elimination of colors, textures, and shapes in our lives. The less interesting among us call them, ‘colorful characters.’ Which are you? More importantly, as a writer, which of your characters are more colorful?
Not only do unusual characters tend to add interest to your story, they can serve many more functions than bland characters. (Unless you’re writing short stories, you may want to avoid writing bland characters unless you have a specific purpose for them.) Colorful characters are the ones with hidden pasts, darker secrets, and more playful natures. They rise to challenges that others either don’t. They seek out hidden opportunities, and grab ones that present themselves.
Favorite colors are supposed to say a lot about us. I don’t have a favorite color. I tried having a favorite color, but I could never really commit to just one. I need to see a color in a shape, with a texture, before it looks ‘right’ or not, at the moment. Grass should be green, at least on this planet. The sun should be yellow, the sky should look blue, etc… Some cars look better in certain colors, as any man can tell you. I drive a blue Cobalt, but I used to have a red Honda. I only came to hate the Honda (and only that one in particular) because it was worn out when I bought it, and forever breaking down.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Phyllis K Twombly