CTS Entry: Silver
Posted by Angela Ackerman
Real World Comparisons:
Nickels, dimes, quarters
Appliances: stainless steel blenders, toasters, microwaves, dishwashers, stoves, refrigerators, etc
Sterling silver jewelry
Screws, nuts, nails
Studs on a dog collar
Wet spider webs
Suit of armor
Rings on a binder
Hamburger/hot dog foil wrapper
Dryer duct hose
Metal tooth fillings
Chrome detailing on cars, motorbikes, etc
Argent, silvery, sterling, metal, metallic
Make every detail count
Colors are powerful descriptors, not fillers. Make sure that if you use a comparison or contrast to highlight a color, you choose the right one. Look at the setting and atmosphere you are working to create, then draw from the viewpoint character or narrator's history, education and past experiences to find the right fit.
A poor example:
Chuck pulled up in his silver ford, black smoke pouring from the sagging tailpipe and rust blooms decorating every panel.
What's wrong with this example?
Here the color descriptor is lost among the stronger images of the black smoke and cancerous rust. If the color doesn't need to stand out, this description is fine, but if you want to draw attention to the color, don't overwhelm it with other images.
A strong example:
After the lightning fled to the East and the rumbling thunder abated, the animals began to settle in their stalls. I left the barn in darkness, breathing in the metallic aftermath of ozone lingering in the air. Above, wisps of cloud screened the full moon, marring its brightness like tarnish on a silver plate.
Why is this example better?
This description not only highlights the color through a apt comparison, it adds to the atmosphere and richness of the setting.