True Colors

I have a new issue in my writing. It’s attributing color to my character’s hair, skin, eyes, etc.

In the FIRST DRAFT of my WIP, I wrote that my heroine has one blue eye, one brown. (Think Kate-Bosworth-esque)

When the hero first sees her, he remarks her eyes, and says there’s more vibrance in them than a lush river valley. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. *slams hand to forehead.

I must’ve been looking out over this as I wrote the line:

Seriously, that’s the view I have when I write…no wonder a lush valley came to mind, huh?

Or maybe I was thinking about the beauty of this:

Which is where I golf…if you can call double-bogeying every hole golfing. Side note: I think the way I play should be called something like “woman whacking at ball with metal rod”.

Anyhow, thanks to my critique partner Lisa, I realized that’s a HORRIBLE way for the hero to think of the heroine’s eyes. Now, this is when the epiphany hit me.

Saying a heroine’s eyes are as colorful and lush as a fertile river valley wouldn’t be so out of place if the hero is a farmer/cowboy who works valley land and appreciates its beauty. But my hero is a kick-ass shapeshifting assassin who’s lived in the city his whole life.

Do you see the difference? I didn’t at first. I do now.

Issue x2: My heroine in Enemy, Beloved is a chocoholic. (Who has absolutely nothing in common with me. Nope. No way.) Anytime I’m in her POV, and I’m describing something brown (ie: hero’s hair color, hero’s eyes), instead of using something bland like auburn, I use types of chocolate…his hair is mocha brown. His eyes are melted dark chocolate.

That’s a hell of a lot better than using mahogany for that character or simply saying brown, don’t you think?

This is my challenge for Immortal, Beloved. All colors must be true to character. No cop outs.

And you know what? If I had to pick a color for myself this morning, I’d pick Scattered Sienna. Yup. About sums up my morning…and this post. Pardon me as I bury my head back where it belongs–in my WIP. *dives back into action sequence where I describe secondary character’s gray eyes as gunmetal gray. heh.


3 thoughts on “True Colors

  1. I like gunmetal gray. Then again, I tend to write about assassins too so it's fitting.Great post. It's something so small that it can be easily overlooked but everything, even when describing another character's appearance should be in tune with the character's viewpoint.

  2. Nicole–You're absolutely right. It's easy to get lost in what YOU want to say instead of what the character NEEDS to say.Lisa–Yup, that's my view. No wonder, huh? Got a little of my viewpoint in there instead of Slade's. Oops.

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