CTS entry: Brown

Real World Comparisons:

Light

Muddy water
River after the rain
Weak tea
Water stain
Cricket
Stone
Turtle's skin
Seeds
Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts)
Freckle
Pollution
Suntans
Baked Bread
Cappuccino
Lattes
Corks
Mushrooms
Dead leaves
Brown Eggs
Peanut butter
Hares
Dried palm fronds
Sandstone
Paper bag
Caramels
Topaz

Medium:

Tree bark
Mud
Dirt
petrified wood
Cinnamon stick
Leather
Copper
Rust
Potato skin
Chocolate
Spider
Poop
Turtle's skin
Seeds
Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts)
Age spot
Deer hide
Kinds of wood
Maple Syrup
Rotten spots on fruit
Dried figs
Old pennies
UPS trucks, uniforms, parcel paper
Bears
Brown sugar
Coconut husks
Cows
Foxes
Pussy willows
Baked Beans
Tarantula
Old fences and barns
Deer
Gravy
Logs
Chocolate Bars
Cocoa powder
Monk's robe
Monkeys
Beavers
Baked beans
Dried Blood

Dark:

Oaks
Twig
Strong tea
Runny ink
Dark Chocolate
Liver
Motor oil
Dried vanilla beans
Espresso
Coke, Pepsi, Root beer, Beer, Malt
Pussy willows
Mummified bodies
Chocolate Bars
Truffles
Pill bottles
Moose
Burnt toast
Wet or rotten leaves

Shades of Brown:

Umber, tan, sepia, russet, bronze, mahogany, sorrel, beige, tawny, brunette, hazel, auburn, mocha

Make every detail count

Colors are powerful descriptors, not fillers. Make sure that if you use a comparison or contrast to highlight a color, you choose the right one. Look at the setting and atmosphere you are working to create, then draw from the viewpoint character or narrator's history, education and past experiences to find the right fit.

A poor example:

After working the plow all afternoon, Ralfie's skin was the color of horsehide.

What's wrong with this example?

Horses come in many colors. Be careful to pick a comparison that is an absolute.

A strong example:

She pulled back her hood, revealing hair the color of espresso, only as coarse and unhealthy as a broom missing half it's bristles.

Why is this example better?

This example not only shows us the color, it shows us the person being described cares little about their appearance. It also uses an effective contrast of something robust (espresso) to something run down (a broom missing its bristles).

3 comments:

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks! I'm always describing brown eyes because I love brown eyes on boys. Especially cute ones. :)

Bish Denham said...

Keep it coming! Wonderful!

Jessica said...

Awesome! Thanks for the tips. :-)

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