On Writing: Color Your World

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.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Green and More

The colors at the ROY end of the spectrum excite us, the BIV colors calm us down, but green is neutral in its effect.

Green is the largest color family discernible to the human eye. Darker tones are linked with durability, soft tones are perceived as restful, bluish greens can be calming, yellowish greens can be exciting. Yellowish greens also produce feelings of well-being and optimism, but too much yellow in the green induces negative responses and are associated with envy, illness, toxins, slime. (You with that bilious green sweater: now you know why your wife keeps throwing it out. Do her a favor and leave it in the trash.)

If green is your favorite color (and statistically it isn’t, most adults prefer blue and most children prefer red) you are probably stable, well balanced, and responsible. You are a good citizen, a concerned parent, a caring companion, a loyal friend. You are intelligent and inclined to do something new rather than follow the crowd. (What a conundrum! Everyone else is wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s your favorite color so you’d like to do the same, but since it is your favorite color, you are the type who doesn’t do what everyone else is doing. How do you cope?)

Owning a dark green vehicle supposedly means that you are traditional, trusty, and well balanced, but what it really means is that you are thrifty. Who makes dark green cars anymore? If you own one, it’s probably been a while since you bought a new vehicle. (Off the subject of green, but on the subject of vehicle colors: men sometimes prefer trucks in blue because they love the way mud looks on the side of a blue truck. Hey, don’t look at me. I’m just reporting someone else’s research.)

Wear green if you are anxious, bitter, resentful, and you want to overcome these negative feelings. Wear green to ameliorate allergies, circulation or breathing problems, or upper back and shoulder pains.

Wear green for creative thinking. If you have writer’s block, wear a green hat, switch to green ink, go outside and contemplate the green grass and green leaves. But if detached, analytical thinking is required, stay away from green. Especially green beer. But then, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, so who cares about detached, analytical thinking?