Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Inject a little colour - awaken the senses?



I was flicking through some photos taken on our holiday last year and I realised some of the most appealing were those that were alive with colour. The colours were so reminiscent of the trip that just looking at the photos transported me back to the places these photos were taken.In turn this tuned into other senses. The smell of the spices in the markets or the floral scents from the flowers. The voices of the street sellers and the cool, slightly uneven, surface of the tiles. It started me thinking about how I write colour into my stories.

Do you use colours as simple adjectives or do you seek creative ways to describe colours in new ways?  How important is it to you to paint these images for your readers? 

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.” 


"The world is a carousel of color.” 

― Anonymous


“Colors. Would it be green or blue today? Maybe white—my favorite. A dark voice in the back of my mind offered no color at all as an alternative. I smothered that voice. The days of no color were simply too hard to bear. I needed color today.” 

I like to stimulate the senses when I write so I do pay attention to the way I describe touch and smell, think I'm going to add colour to that list as well now.  I am going to start a colour notebook (we love our notebooks don't we!) so that I can jot down imaginative ideas for future use. 



Recently Deanie Humphrys-Dunne at  Thoughts and Ideas nominated me for the colourful 'Sunshine Award.' Thank you Deanie for thinking about me! I was given a similar award a short while ago so I am posting a link to that post  HERE.







53 comments:

  1. Very nice photos!
    I'm simple and usually just go for basic color descriptions. Most men don't understand those really funky colors anyway.
    Congratulations on the award.

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    1. Thanks Alex. I never thought about gender specifics!

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  2. I try to make use of different hues and shades, particularly when doing landscapes (and sea-scapes - there's only so many times you can say "the blue sea"). It's introduced me to a wider range of colour-based vocabulary - cerulean, vermillion, carmine, to name but three.

    I also try to use all the senses in every piece of description I write - I find that smell is often woefully under-used in prose and try to rectify that.

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    1. I think that's the key, finding a different way to convey your images. This gives your writing your own unique voice. Love the word, cerulean will add that to my notebook!

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  3. I love pictures, images, colors-- all the senses in writing. The pictures are lovely and each one conveys a story. I liked the quotes too. And Alex, Jack Karouac was a man. ;)

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    1. I think a couple could easily be used as story prompts. Thanks, Julie.

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  4. I never thought on describing colors that poetically. Red is simply red to me, hahaha. I'll try a different way. It's always nice to try new things. Congratulations on your award!

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    1. New things are good, Al even if we revert back to what works for us as individuals. There is an element of experimentation in writing isn't there?

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  5. The pictures are beautiful.

    I use colour and senses a lot in my writing. It was something that was drilled into me by my English degree tutor.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I think stimulating a reader's senses is a good thing and helps with their connectivity with a story.

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  6. Yeah just go with simple for colors at my sea, too much confuses little old me lol

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    1. Your place is always a colourful visit, Pat :)

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  7. Ah such resplendent colours that bloom from thine photos. I've been know to use some rather um colourful writing techniques.

    Well done on receiving the Sunshine Award, again. A peaceful day to you, Suzanne.

    Gary

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    1. Good morning, Gary, colourful writing techniques - never! I love your style.

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  8. Lovely photos!
    That dark gateway hidden under all the pink flowers makes me want to write a story to go with it...

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    1. I know, Helen, a couple of them would make excellent writing prompts - feel free!

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  9. Gorgeous photos!

    I'm not much into physical descriptions of any kind when I write lol, and I know that's bad, but I struggle with it. I HOPE I make up for it with descriptions of feelings though lol.

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    1. Hi, Kyra, feelings are just as important for connecting with characters, the senses are more the environment/setting I guess.

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  10. I love the vibrant colours you've captured in your photos. The notebook is a good idea.

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  11. Hi Suzanne - I love descriptions .. also others' ideas remind me of vocabulary levels, that I may have forgotten about .. or relate a colour to theme within an article ... then that aspect gets looked at it another way ... I love description, but all senses are so important when writing ... sometimes less is better, in another context or book .. more is lovely ..

    Cheers from crystal clear day in Eastbourne! Hilary

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    1. Very mixed day here, Hilary, I'm afraid! I just love reading a passage that makes me sit up and think - Wow I can really 'see' that.

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  12. Color certainly does enhance both photos and writing!

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  13. When I write I try to give enough of a scene for the frame work to exist, and then I let the reader fill in the rest. But then again, I'm sort of a minimalist. I get impatient when books I'm reading take too long to get to the point.

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    1. I tend to agree that sometimes description can be too lengthy. It can be a distraction to the story.

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  14. Yes, I do use colour, but I'm a minimalist writer, so I'm completely the opposite of the Kerouac example.

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  15. Color is amazing, isn't it? I think that is part of the reason that winter is so depressing to me... NO COLOR! I love it when the world comes to life and is full of color and beauty! We need it in our writing too. It really does make a difference.

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    1. I'm with you there, Leigh give me colour anyday!

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  16. Congrats on the award! I love those...
    I do like to be really descriptive with colors. Some scenes are more successful than others. I do try to incorporate all the senses. My MC in my WIP has an extraordinary sense of smell which figures heavily into the plot...
    Tina @ Life is Good

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    1. I often write about scents and smells, Tina. They can be very evocative.

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  17. Love that On the Road quote. Pure beauty.

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  18. Oh beautiful! Those flowers go beyond describing them as simply purple. Gorgeous.

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    1. Beyond purple - love that quote Jaybird :)

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  19. Oooo! A color notebook. What a creative idea! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  20. I can always 'see' the colours of my characters' clothes, cars, homes etc. I think knowing which colours someone likes or dislikes can say a lot about their personality. But you've made me realise that I don't always remember to mention these colours in my writing. Something else to put on my checklist!

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    1. I know, sometimes there is so much to think about!

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  21. Actually, I'm not that sort of a professional when it comes to writing but I loved the way you explained it and the examples you gave. Adding colour to the text does make it come more alive to me. It seems to paint more of a picture of what the author is saying.

    Congratulations on also being nominated for the Sunshine award.

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    1. I think writing is about painting a picture for your reader. If you can stimulate their senses too this can only enhance their reading experiences.

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  22. I think it's important to incorporate all the senses when they're relevant to the scene. Color in particular definitely enhances writing!

    Thanks so much for the blitz today. What a great surprise!

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    1. Hi Dana and welcome, glad you enjoyed your Blitz Day today!

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  23. Great post, Suzanne. I think this will make me more mindful of the picture I paint with my words. :)

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    1. Hi Celeste, glad you found it a helpful post.

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  24. very interesting thoughts about colors--they do have a lot of control over us :)

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    1. The world is full of colour so it makes sense to me to include it in our writing.

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  25. I love colour, especially in my garden. I probably don't use it in my stories as much as I could though.

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    1. Just been strolling round my garden admiring a few new plants that have burst into life this week.

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  26. I LOVE colors, and they will be playing a big part in my new book. I really came to love the play and contrast of vibrant colors while traveling abroad.

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    1. The colours of nature are amazing aren't they?

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  27. Lovely photographs. My love for color comes from my father who is an artist. I learned the importance of color but also shadow, light and dark. These elements I try to add into my writing because it's a good way to desribe a setting, set the mood, or to use as a foreshadowing technique, though that's not always easy. (:

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