CST Entry: Yellow
Posted by Angela Ackerman
Real World Comparisons
Cooking oil/olive oil
Ripe honeydew melon
Under ripe corn
Elephant tusks (ivory)
Buttercups, dandelions, black-eyed Susan, daffodils, sunflowers, forsythia
Used cooling oil
The pages of an old book
Shades of Yellow:
Ochre, blond, buff, cream, ivory, tawny, sandy, honey-toned, cream
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:
Aunt Edna flitted through the cluster of middle-aged bachelors, her throaty laughter drawing every eye as much as her flimsy bumblebee yellow sundress.
What's wrong with this example?
The description is compromised by using the comparison 'bumblebee'. The reader immediately associates it to a black and yellow striped image, not bright yellow.
A strong example:
After seven days at sea, the cloud cover finally broke. Shafts of honeyed light spilled down, gleaming against the waves, bringing us hope that the storm was finally over.
Why is this example better?
Honey is a term we associate with health, warmth and comfort. Pairing it as a descriptor for the both color and a change in weather amplifies the feelings of the characters and leaves the scene on a high note.