Lately I’ve been playing with a new story idea and it’s got me thinking about color and what a big part it plays in the writing of a romance. I never really thought about how heavily I rely on it, not just for physical description, but for those subtle nuances that I just can’t quite create in any other way.
Take red. The color of passion as well as fury, red simply will not be ignored. It’s the rich kid’s convertible, the bad girl’s lingerie. Red rimmed eyes have been the result of many a wife’s fights with her husband, many a husband’s night out with the guys.
Orange calls to mind crackling campfires and funny-faced pumpkins. Unlike red, orange seems to have a ‘take me or leave me’ attitude. It’s the color of an eccentric grandma’s hair, of the ditch lilies that grow beside a country road, basking in their own brilliance, just because they can. When I’m in need of a character that’s offbeat and quirky, more often than not she wears orange.
Yellow is, to this writer’s mind, the most fun filled of colors. It’s a field of sunflowers, or a butterscotch sundae. Yellow is a wide-brimmed sun hat, a child’s bouquet of dandelions. My happiest scenes are often sketched on a backdrop of sunny, yellow days.
On the darker side of the spectrum, there are hot chocolate eyes, and nights as spooky as black cats. There is the steel gray silence that follows a lover’s quarrel, the deep blue calm that comes with forgiveness.
Color. What would a romance novel be without it?