The Colorful Story

This past season, many of us got to enjoy movies such as It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle On 34th Street.  These movies are great. There’s no doubt in that fact. There is a charm to them that modern Hollywood can not replicate.

However, writing a story in black and white may sound appealing to a few authors and readers. It’s a challenge that a few writers wish to tackle to try setting their story apart from all the others trying to get published. From being too descriptive, this can be the exact opposite. The story comes off empty or lacking. Yes, we know that leaves in the summer are green and the sky is blue. I’m not saying that you have to detail every little detail. But throw in a few colors here and there for added appeal.

For example:

Amanda pulled out a clean sheet of paper. It had been a while since she wrote any of her stories. The blank page stared back at her, taunting her with every thought she was unable to put into words. Her hazel eyes centered on the wall, unseeing. Then slowly, the words flowed across the paper in small rivers of blue ink. Too soon was the paper full of her thoughts. Amanda sat back with a warm smile on her lips, proud of her accomplishment.

Yes, this could be classified as more of a tell rather than a show paragraph since I didn’t get into detail regarding what were her thoughts or the actual words she wrote, but I hope that you could clearly see the plain white paper in your mind with blue words filling it. I chose hazel eyes because I’m sure the majority of you pictured her with brown hair. There’s a subconscious connection that I’m not sure if most realize when they think of the relation between eye and hair color. Typically, I think of green eyes with someone with red hair. Blue eyes with blond hair. Hazel with brown hair. Dark brown or “chocolate” with black hair. I don’t know if there is a study for the relations between them, but they are the most common pairings.

I’m sure you noticed that I did not tell you the coloring of her clothes or the wall or even what room she was in. If there was more to the scene, then they would’ve been included. The main focus was for the character to start her writing. Nothing more was needed.

Be mindful of the balance between being too descriptive and not being descriptive enough. You can do the same with other areas such as setting up a scene, body language, dialogue, and the detail of the people.

I hope everyone had a good holiday and a happy New Year.

L. R. Mauck


Author: lrmauck

Over the last decade, I have received several positive feedbacks on my stories and one college professor encouraging me to pursue a career as a writer. I have attended a few elective writing classes at IUS to help hone in on my skills. I have recently attended Kentucky Writing Workshop in Louisville, KY where I learned more hands-on experience and encouragement from other writers. I currently resides in southern Indiana with my four fur babies. Follow me on twitter at: @lrmauck

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