Color Thesaurus Entry: Stripe


Real World Comparisons:

Nature:

Rainbows
Zebras
Tigers
Raccoon Tail
Skunk
Stripe ball python
Sunflower seeds
Clown fish, Silver sides, etc
Bumble bees
Tarantula legs
Florida bark scorpion
Butterfly/moth wings
Penguins
Leaves
Garter snake
Chipmunks
Worms
Scratches
Cuts
Stretch Marks
Flowers (Iris varieties, Bitter Root, Crocuses, Variegated Tulips, etc)

Man Made:

Layer cake
Candy Cane
Barber Pole
Hazard signs
Hair highlights
Racing stripe on cars
Hardwood flooring
Ribbon Candy
BBQ Grill marks
Window Blinds
Referee shirt
Highway center line
Cultivated farmer's fields
Lined paper
US Flag
Bar code
Bulls eye
Neck ties
Mohawk
Piano keys

Synonyms of Stripe:

Variegated, two-toned, pin stripe, lined, banded, striation, streak, belted, slash

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:

Megan's tight white dress with its strange pattern of uneven black slashes made her look like a zebra.

What's wrong with this example?

It's overused. Black and white dress, zebra...meh. Think outside the box.

A strong example:

Megan's tight white dress with its strange pattern of uneven black slashes made her look like a walking, talking bar code.

Why is this example better?

Our goal is to show her poor taste in an outfit and so the unusual comparison here works.


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10 comments:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great post on an important writing lesson - I love that you always give examples! zebra vs. bar code -love it! :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

P.S. icky, yucky, very freaky picture! I hate snakes. ;-)

corrinejackson said...

First time visitor. The emotion thesaurus is a very cool idea!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Man, I wish I could use modern references like bar codes in my novel. Unfortunately, I don't think the ancient Egyptians would have known a bar code if it hit them in the face.

But I like the snake! I've got some metaphors about those little critters in my book.

Bish Denham said...

Sometime clouds stripe the sky. And there are examples of layering/striping in places like the Grand Canyon or where highways have cut through hills.

Kate said...

Another great list. I never would have thought of tarantula legs!

PJ Hoover said...

Oooh, cool snake pic and cool topic!

Angela said...

Thanks Shannon! ha, I wondered if the snake pic would freak people out. :-)

Corrine, very nice to see you! I hope you'll be back often.

Stephanie, I just finished a MG about Egypt! (It didn't take place there;it's in modern times when Osiris attempts another ressurrection, but still, a MG Egyptian book! Small world, huh?

Bish, I was wondering if I should include clouds or not. I know just what you mean.

Kate--I thought of it because I used to own one. :-) His name was Tyrone.

PJ---nice to see you!

Lisa_Gibson said...

What no listing for polka-dotted?! ;) Your thesaurus' are great!

Angela said...

*grins* Yep there is one, only it's called 'spotted'.

http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/2010/01/color-thesaurus-entry-spotted.html

Thanks for visiting, Lisa!

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