CTS Entry: Orange


Real World Comparisons:

Light:

Peach
Salmon
Nectarines
Yam
Apricot
Cantaloupe
Cheese slice
Persimmons
Coral
Cheese whiz
Cheese slices

Medium:

Mango
Oranges
Bird of paradise
Traffic cones
Pumpkins
Carrot
Orange bell pepper
Goldfish
Prison overalls
Oranges
Crush pop
Tiger
Tangerine
Zesty cheese chips
Cheetos
Clown fish
Lava
hot coals
Cheddar cheese
Tang

Dark:

Sunsets
Robin's breast
Sweet potato
Flames
Orange tabby cat
Fall leaves
Blood orange
Lion's mane
Terra Cotta
Irish setter
Garfield the cat
Pennies
Weak orange pekoe
Amber
Fake tans from creams
Monarch butterfly

Shades of Orange:

carrot, coral, peach, salmon, tangerine, ocher, copper

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:

Most women with a Madonna-esque body would have no trouble finding plenty of dance partners during the wedding reception, but not my friend Wendy. Her rubbery neon orange dress clings to her so tightly that she looks like a cheese slice sealed in for freshness. And that hairdo? Beehives were cool when, like forty years ago?

What's wrong with this example?

At first glance this seems like it has some great comparisons. The issue is though, the POV character is trying to show how her friend Wendy is a turn off to guys, and let's face it, with a rockin' body & a super tight dress, she'd be reeling them in. So, some good imagery here, but the wrong kind to make the reader believe in the overall image.

A strong example:

Most women with a Madonna-esque body would have no trouble finding plenty of dance partners during the wedding reception, but not my friend Wendy. Between her rubbery neon orange dress and her carrot-colored beehive hairdo, she looks more like a traffic cone that datable material.

Why is this example better?

This sounds much more like a fashion nightmare, so we can buy the idea that she would be a turn off to guys, despite a good body.


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7 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

Also, nasturtiums and marigolds, please -- (I'm sitting in a friend's garden, looking at a whole bank of them!)

I have to say that the first example you used told me more about the writer than it did about Wendy! I pictured someone more than a little jealous of Wendy's figure...

PJ Hoover said...

These are so helpful!

Angela said...

Thanks Mary. I himmed and hawwed over adding those flowers, but I opted not to because nasturtiums also come in reds and yellows (love these--I plant them every year!). Same with marigolds.

I agree, the first example has good characterization to it. I like the snappiness to it, too--better voice. At the end of the day though, those two aren't quite enough--the passage has to also accomplish the writer's goals. :-)

Angela said...

Thanks PJ!

Kelly said...

Great examples!
Orange you glad you posted this? We are! :)

Danyelle said...

I love your color entries. They smell nice. :D

~Aimee States said...

OMG I love this blog! Bookmark.

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