Writing with colour

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Colours are rich in symbolic value and cultural meaning.

All colours are capable of activating our senses in ways we may not be consciously of:

– yellow > fun

– red > exciting

– green > calming

– black > power and aggression

The names used to describe colours are often just as important as the colours themselves … colour names are powerful tools for shaping the reader’s experience and helping to create a specific image. Gravy-brown, for example, does not evoke the same image as coffee-brown.


Choose an emotion and a setting. Now describe your setting from the point of a view of a character who is feeling the emotion you have selected. Include lots of colour to suit the emotion.

Source: The five-minute writer, Margaret Geraghty, How to Books, 2009