Colorful Characterization

This is one of the characterization exercises I gave out in my workshop two weeks ago.


When someone tells us to think about our character and color, we normally consider descriptives (what color is their hair or eyes) and what is their favorite color.
Ho hum.
Very few people dress completely in their favorite color or decorate their homes in their favorite color.   Get more specific with your character’s color preferences and/or how you can use color to tell your reader about your character.
Would there be a difference between how they decorated their home?  Their office?  Think about it.  What colors do they think pe0ple who take them seriously professionally would expect to see?  Now compare this to the colors they actually enjoy.
Be adventuresome, meaning this:  Go beyond your favorite colors.  Actually visit the paint aisle.  Bring home color chips.  Think.
How does your character dress?  If their clothing is new, visit online catalogs and see what colors are available.  What do professional catalogs feature vs casual wear catalogs.
A calm character might go for cool colors — greens, blues and violet.  A vibrant character?  Warms like orange, yellow and red.  Or you can shake it up and have the guy who lights up the room be a Goth in head to toe black.
You can use color to tell us a lot about your character but don’t be afraid to deviate from what is expected.  Surprise us!

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