by Cait Collins
A couple of days ago, I made my annual trek to the dollar store to stock up on cans of silly string. It has become a tradition for both kids and adults to engage in a canned-string fight after our family Easter egg hunt. I enjoy the event. We can go through a hundred cans of string in a matter of minutes, and when all the cans are empty, we leave behind a lawn bathed in all the colors of the rainbow.
Using colors in our writing helps to create the setting. And with so many hues, why do we seem to get stuck with blue, red, green, and yellow. Why not experiment with different shades of basic colors? Visualize the hues listed below and if you choose, add others to the list.
Blues: pacific, cornflower, sky, indigo, midnight, outer space, cadet, periwinkle, robin’s egg, aquamarine, cobalt
Greens: inchworm, sea, pine, jungle, granny smith apple, olive, forest, spring, asparagus, emerald
Pinks: carnation, salmon, blush
Oranges: apricot, macaroni and cheese, peach, melon, burnt
Purples: violet, mauve, orchid, lavender, wisteria, magenta, plum, amethyst
Grays: timber wolf, thundercloud, smoke
Browns: sepia, tan, beige, tumbleweed, burnt sienna, mahogany, bittersweet, chestnut, beaver
Yellows: goldenrod, dandelion, almond, citrine
Reds: scarlet, brick, wild strawberry, beet, ruby
Blacks: ebony, onyx, shadow
Whites: sea salt, marshmallow, snow, ivory, antique
With these colors in mind, describe an English garden, a field of wild flowers, a thunder storm; a mountain top view, a sunset, an ocean view at sunrise, the woods in autumn, a romantic get-away, or a murder .scene. Be specific in your descriptions. Let your color choices set the mood. Let the scenes “bake” for a while before reading them. And when you do read your descriptions, can you see them?