Color Thesaurus Entry: Blue

Real World Comparisons:
Robin's egg
Caribbean ocean
Pool water


Pacific Blue Tang Fish
Blue Jay
Blue Rose
The blue screen of death
Blue' Clues
Peacock feather
Cookie Monster
Blue beetle


Stormy water
Concord Grapes
Blue cheese
Varicose veins

Shades of Blue:

Azure, periwinkle, turquoise, aqua, sky, robin's egg, cerulean, cobalt, indigo, navy, royal, sapphire, teal, ultramarine, powder blue

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:

We reached Alber too late--his eyes stared ahead, glassy and unseeing, and his lips were blue, as if he had chugged a bottle of Scope only moments before expiring.

What's wrong with this example?

This lends a comical twist to the description which spoils the result of death. As well, while (most) mouthwash is blue, it doesn't lend a staining effect to the things it touches.

A strong example:

We reached Alber too late--his eyes stared ahead, glassy and unseeing, and his lips were blue, as if he had eaten a handful of ripe blueberries only moments before expiring.

Why is this example better?

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Angela said...

A big thanks to writerrose who noticed I had left out one of the most used colors in the spectrum before retiring the Color Thesaurus: BLUE!

*hangs head in shame*

Danyelle said...

Very nice! I like how you divided them into different color intensities and shades. You are made of awesome!

Abby Annis said...

Yea! I was looking for this one the other day. Thanks for all your awesome thesaurus entries. :)

lotusgirl said...

I love the way you did this. I'm a huge fan of color. I like the humorous example. It was jarring. The "good" example keeps the mood though. It's all about the mood you're trying to create.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Thanks for this. Blue is sort of my nemesis color. I have such a hard time coming up with anything original. The same is true for yellow. I'll have to go back and find your entry for that one.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I had to laugh at your bad example. At least his final breath was germ free. :)

Gwen Stickle said...

Great Thesaurus. I love your blog, so many fun things to read.

Conda V. Douglas said...

My, I needed this list bad for my writing (long story). Thank you!

Bish Denham said...

I'm dreaming of the ocean...of the waterfalls and pools at the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Their name means, People of the blue-green waters....

Marcia said...

My favorite color. You almost left it OUT? Horrors. :)

PJ Hoover said...

wait - did you just post this yesterday?
Because I just used it TODAY! I went with blue like a robin's egg. in fact the whole scene is blue :)

Kirsten Lesko said...

I can't get over how much work you put into your blog posts. This really is an excellent tool for writers.

Beverley BevenFlorez said...

I wanted to let you know that I gave you the "One Lovely Blog Award" today. :)

Angela said...

I know, I know--how could I forget BLUE, right? I promise, I beat myself soundly with a wet noodle. It won't happen again!!

Thanks for all the comments!


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