When my son arrived in Lima, Peru, while on a mission trip some years ago, he was struck by the riot of colour in the city. His email said, “It looked like a kid had gone crazy with a box of crayons.” Without naming any colours, he had created a picture of the scene I will never forget.
Writers’ groups and their goals are as varied as the words on a page. They range from the tender and all-forgiving to the meanest criticism in the world. I’ve been a member of both types of groups and I definitely prefer the kinder kind.
Unfortunately, some people thrive on shredding your work to pieces because “their type of writing is right,” and therefore, yours cannot possibly be. Many a writer will tell you that harsh criticism stilled their words for months on end.
As an artist as well as a writer, I know the importance of colour. Yet I’ve read a few manuscripts with a distinct lack of it. Rather than “fifty shades of gray,” perhaps we should be looking for fifty words to express exactly what we envision.
Am I a writer who speaks, or a speaker who writes?
The hotel room I am staying in depresses me. Shades of brown from the bedspread to the carpet and drapes and even the beige wallpaper and gold-framed art are lacking an accent colour. But what is worse, a bland monochromatic colour scheme or loud colours of every shade shouting at you?
To add colour to our writing maybe we should paint it on as an accent rather than pour on the whole gallon. Writing through our five senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight adds pops of colour.