The Color Thesaurus. Having read this post, it reminded me of my mother-in-law, Margaret, who thought she knew everything about colour. In fact she was a very talented lady, but her knowledge was natural instinct. She liked to experiment and in the 1950s, she thought she’d like a feature wall of dark grey. Her patient husband, Eric, tried to advise her that it would be rather dark, but she insisted he paint the wall.
In the morning they came down stairs to what Eric, a sea Captain, said, ‘We’ve got the bloody HMAS Melbourne drawn up alongside!’ From then on it was called Battle Ship Grey. Margaret relented and the wall was repainted a more moderate colour.
Eric, who was a tease, sent Margaret to get the colour for the front door, and told her it was Wagon Wheel Blue. She had the men in the paint shop diving for cover, as they knew what a pedantic woman she was. She asked for Wagon Wheel Blue, and they said there was no such colour. ‘Oh yes there is, my husband told me!’ Eventually it was discovered that the colour she wanted was Wagon Blue, with a few alterations. She came home furious with Eric, but happy to have the deep blue that she so admired. It did look magnificent on their stable door.
I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.
One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow. Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.
So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names in the world, so, this is just to get you started.
Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!