Color Thesaurus Entry: Transparent


Real World Comparisons:
Natural:

Clean rivers, streams, lakes
Dew drops
Rain drops
Melted snow
Ice
Jellyfish
Bubbles
Crystals
Dragonfly/fly/bee wings
Atmosphere
Oxygen
Frog's eggs
Mist
Breath
Smoke
Liquid honey
Amber, diamonds and other similar gemstones

Man Made:

Glass lenses
Pool water
Glass
Suran wrap
Ziplock bags
Plastic slip covers
Ghosts
Fish bowl
Windows
Peephole in door
Coffee Urn
Fishing line
Glass of water
Marbles
Plastic packaging
Bubble wrap
Tape
Crazy glue
Sprite/7up/club soda/tonic water
Vodka/Gin/White rum/Tequila/etc
Wedding Veil

Synonyms of Clear:

Clear, unclouded, translucent, sheer, crystalline, gossamer, vaporous, gauzy, see-through

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:

A light mist clung to the graveyard like a dead man's breath.

What's wrong with this example?

At first look, this seems nice and creepy, perfect for a graveyard description. But then you have to think, Um...dead men don't breathe, so in actuality the mist would be invisible, which we all know is not the case.

A strong example:

A light mist clung to the graveyard like smoke huddled above a funeral pyre.

Why is this example better?

This one lines up logically and still provides atmosphere by creating a comparison to death.


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5 comments:

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks!! A word I need to use more often. :)

Robyn Campbell said...

I haven't been using colors right. Thanks for showing me this Angela. I thought my way of using colors wasn't as vivid as it could be.

I love the second example. It's all in the detail. I really appreciate your schooling on this. :)

I hope nano is going great. I'm cheering you on. :)

Erica said...

Good examples! Thank you again. This blog is so helpful :)

Mary Witzl said...

I love this imagery. And I'm proud of myself: 'dead man's breath' made my eyebrows go up right away.

slcboston said...

I would also point out to be sure and use the right word - often people say "transparent" when they mean "translucent," which is frankly what I am more inclined to think of when I think "jellyfish."

(That and "tasty" but that's a long story...)

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