Color Thesaurus Entry: Gray


Real World Comparisons:

Light:

Gray hair
Ashes
Fog
Cobwebs
Brain
Smoke
Slate
Dirty snow
Street ice
Moths
Smog/pollution
Paved steps/pathways

Medium:

Wolves
Cement
Pewter
Metals (mercury, tin, etc)
Lemur
Sharks
Manta rays
Tree bark (Pine, cedar, Spruce)
Stones, rocks, granite
Statues
Headstones
Satellite dishes
Duct tape
Gravel

Dark:

Storm clouds
Streets
Pencil lead
Elephants
Charcoal
Cavities
Old unpainted barns and fences
Driftwood
Rotten wood
Tornadoes
Chain link fence
Barbed Wire

Shades of Gray:

Slate, dove gray, pewter, charcoal, ashy, ashen, iron gray, smoky

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:

Marc stood by the gym doors in his basketball uniform, tall and muscular and perfect, his brown hair tousled and curly with sweat. I stared, every particle on my body tingling as I drank in my future boyfriend...until he opened his mouth and I caught a glimpse of teeth the color of dirty snow. Ew. No way would I be with a guy who couldn't be bothered to use a freaking whitening kit.

What's wrong with this example?

It's a little...*yawn*...blah. We need a stronger comparison.

A strong example:

Marc stood by the gym doors in his basketball uniform, tall and muscular and perfect, his brown hair tousled and curly with sweat. I stared, every particle on my body tingling as I drank in my future boyfriend...until he opened his mouth and I caught a glimpse of dingy gray teeth. Ew. Making out with him would be like kissing a mouthful of gravel.

Why is this example better?

Gravel is a much better comparison, because the color doesn't just suggest teeth that are less than pearly-perfect, it also implies our pal Marc needs some dental work. We get a much stronger mental picture.


Bookmark and Share

8 comments:

Kara said...

Very nice...you always get my brain working!!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for still being here and doing these!

Vivian said...

Oh! I love these! Thanks for putting them together.

Bish Denham said...

I SOOOOOOOO glad Duct tape was included. Where would we be without it?

Angela said...

Duct tape is the answer to everything!

Thanks guys--glad this helps!

Genevieve said...

What about a memory ... clear as ...?

Anonymous said...

Bravo, love the part about kissing gravel.

Anonymous said...

Dove gray eyes.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...