August 2010 AW Blog Chain

This month’s subject is: If you had to pick one color, and one color only, for an aspect of your writing, which one would it be and why?

I think the “one color” hasn’t been strictly adhered to, so I’m going to tackle this from the perspective of two of my main characters.  I’ve purposely left out any pictures of my colors, leaving their nuance to the imagination.


Blonhaft is the color Khaki.  Thinking clothing here only gets you so far.  Yes, comfort and easy-wear come to mind, but Khaki is also rugged and durable when it needs to be.  It is a complicated color that has a lot more going on beneath the surface than meets the eye.

Take the Merriam-Webster definition for instance: Khaki, a light yellowish brown that is yellower and duller than walnut brown, yellower and less strong than cinnamon, and duller and slightly yellower than manila or fallow.

There is a wide degree of interpretation here that defies easy labeling.  He remains difficult to define even to those closest to him.

“Your friendship with him is still one of the oddest I know of,” Breanne said.  “You are so different.”

“Are we?” Blonhaft asked.

“He is so serious, so earnest.  You are,” she said before pausing.

“What, not serious?” he asked.

“Perhaps more thoughtful; maybe even more carefree,” she said wiggling closer to him for warmth.

Yes, always the carefree younger brother, he thought.  He didn’t move when she curled her head onto his shoulder.

And this provides a nice segue to our next character.


Breanne is the color Slate.  Now here, as before, thinking narrowly only gets you so far.  Yes, Slate brings to mind hardness, or a brittle edge, but we also have “clean slate” and a “blank slate”.  Breanne is at times hard and edgy, but she is also not easy to read like the blank slate.

Again, from Merriam-Webster: Slate, a dark purplish gray that is bluer and deeper than pigeon, redder, lighter, and stronger than charcoal, and bluer and darker than taupe gray.

So like Blonhaft, there is more than meets the eye here.  I’ll leave you with a description of Breanne’s eyes, which coincidently, are gray, along with a few other short passages.

They were wide and gray, an unnatural gray that tended to neither black nor a lighter hue of blue.  Since she seldom smiled or frowned, everything she wished to reveal was transferred to those eyes as they squinted, widened, glared or softened depending upon her immediate mood.

“Don’t,” Blonhaft said to Breanne as her eyes flashed at Scipan’s back.  “His disrespect is legendary.  Ignore him.”

“One day, he will go too far,” Breanne said.

“Your grandfather tolerated him because he is the finest shipwright in the realm.  Ashaer has chosen to tolerate him for the same reason,” Blonhaft said.

“As I said, one day he may find himself working for someone who isn’t as tolerant,” she said.

“You know Ashaer’s commitment to your mother and the House of Fayersae is absolute,” he said.

Finally, anger darkened her reflection in the water.

“This is an odd way to show it,” she snapped as her eyes became needle sharp.  “Ever since my mother arrived on Hauden, all her energy has been directed toward unifying the white man and the red man.  Ashaer has gone too far here,” she said, jumping to her feet.

Well, that’s it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little exercise as much as I have.  Happy writing and reading!


The super summery participants of the August Coloring Blog Chain are:
Aheïla: and direct link to her post
Ralph_Pines: and direct link to her post
AuburnAssassin: and direct link to her post
semmie: and direct link to her post
Anarchicq: and direct link to her post
CScottMorris: and direct link to his post

P.A. Seasholtz

Creator of the Harmony of the Othar Saga. Visit the site at

14 thoughts on “August 2010 AW Blog Chain

  • August 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Great choices, P.A.! I love your choice for Breanne–it seems to suit her well. Also, great description of her eyes. 🙂

  • August 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    It seems that you’re approaching the colors as textiles (specifically as pants, since slate and khaki are both popular colors!), which is an interesting choice.

    Far more interesting to me, though, is the existence of a color called “pigeon.” It sounds like the kind of color that people would see everywhere but nevertheless find annoying 🙂

  • August 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Love that you didn’t pick ‘tan’ or ‘grey’ as one could have with both those colors, but that the name itself evokes more meaning and possibilities! 🙂

  • August 9, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    I mirror Aimee’s comment. The color names are much more evocative than a duller “gray” or “tan” and your characters are richer than those terms, too.

  • August 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    I certainly enjoyed your “little exercise” yes–not least because you are so precise about specific hues and what each implies!

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  • August 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    As others mentioned I like that you chose very specific shades. I also enjoyed the brief excerpts.

  • August 11, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I love the earth colors. Two wonderful and meaningful choices.

  • August 12, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Your characters seem very dynamic and the colors you chose really helped me imagine them fully. Great post.

  • August 12, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    I third what Aimee said. Color words, especially ones that describe an object as well as a color bring a whole ‘nother level of richness to that which it is being used to describe. It’s fantastic shorthand for conveying a denser meaning.

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  • August 25, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    I love the blends of color in both Khaki and Slate. Both colors, as you said, have more to them than meets the eye.

    I often feel khaki has a wash of green in it that makes it less yellow than the yellows mentioned in the dictionary definition. It’s a muddy color, like the layer of silt under the glistening surface of a lake. I sense that same “hidden” grit and anger in Blonhaft.

    And slate is touched by lots of colors. One of the wonderful things about slate is that sometimes it isn’t plain. Slate tiles can have grain and rivers of color within them that make them lively and interesting in their grayness.

    I think you should describe Breanne’s eyes as slate instead of gray. 🙂

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