Color is an important part of life, and we should honor that importance in the stories we write. Although we can simply name any color for our characters’ bedrooms or the clothes they wear, by choosing a specific color, we can add layers of meaning to our stories and even to the personalities of our characters. We can add mood, symbolism, theme, even emotion. But first, we need to know what the colors mean.
What Colors Mean:
Black — Evil, falsehood, error, grief, despair, death.
Blue — Chastity, loyalty, fidelity, faith, modesty, eternity, immmortality.
Green — Love, joy, abundance, hope, youth, mirth, gladness, resurrection, spring.
Purple — Temperance, royalty
Red — Magnanimity, fortitude
White — Purity, truth, innocence, hope.
Yellow — Faith, constancy, wisdom, glory, jealousy, inconsistancy.
What Your Favorite Color Reveals About You:
Red — Ambitious, energetic, extroverted
Pink — Affectionate, compassionate, romantic
Maroon — Sensuous, friendly, emotional
Orange — Fun-loving, action-oriented, competent
Peach — Gentle, charitable, enthusiastic
Yellow — Optimistic, expressive, people-oriented
Mint green — Modest, insightful, kind-hearted
Apple green — Innovative, adventuresome, self-motivated
Green — Benevolent, service-oriented, scientific
Teal — Idealistic, faithful, sentimental
Light blue — creative, perceptive, imaginative
Dark Blue — Intelligent, responsible, self-reliant
Mauve — Delicate, reserved, sensitive
Purple — Intuitive, spiritual, insightful
Beige — Practical, well-adjusted, steadfast
Brown — Down to earth, honest, supportive
Black — Disciplined, strong-willed, opinionated
White — Individualistic, lonely, low self-esteem
Gray — Passive, noncommittal, stressed
Silver — Honorable, chivalrous, romantic
Gold — Idealistic, noble, successful
See also: The Meaning of Your Car Color
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Green and More
Do you pay attention to color in your stories? If so, how do you use color? Do you ever use color for any reason other than simply to describe things?
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.
October 27, 2008 at 3:16 am
I often use color as a hidden theme to tie things together. Objects that are linked will be the same color (red for passion, yellow for fidelity etc.) A good way to leave a clue for the reader.
October 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm
That’s a great idea. I’d steal it, but I already have so many different pieces of the puzzle to put together. 🙂