The "real" world is filled with color. Blue skies, spring-green or autumn-colored leaves, orange pumpkins, brilliantly colored cars or Lego blocks – even beige is a color (but not my favorite).
When I describe a scene, I often use color to evoke the reader's senses and emotions. Whether it's the flashing of the light bar on the police car – blue, red, blue – or an apple green Maverick Grabber, it becomes one of the familiar elements that pull up readers' hidden memories and takes them into that particular moment with the characters.
Descriptive words, without dipping into "purple prose," also paint a scene that draws a reader in. For example, in my WIP, there's been a fire in Bitter's neighborhood. After a long night, the dawn reveals the aftermath.
Dawn touched the horizon as Bitter wearily climbed the steps to her porch. Gato and Chica raced into the garden when she opened the front door. She looked at the old rattan chair and shook the cushion over the rail to knock the ashes off before she sat down.
"Ayyy, Papá, what would you do now?" she said aloud as she looked over the ash-laden landscape. Even the apple green of the Maverick lost its brilliance in the soft amber light. She leaned back and closed her eyes, ignoring the faint wisps of shadows hovering amid the haze of smoke that still covered the neighborhood.
She slipped into sleep for a moment, but a heavy thump into her lap woke her. "Gato!" she grumped. "OK, OK, everybody back to bed. I won't make any sense at all if I don't get some sleep."
She paused in the kitchen to make a cup of mint tea. "Not like I'm going to need it to relax, I'm so tired I think I'd sleep through another explosion."
Gato and Chica beat her back to the bed.
Of course, sleep rarely lasts long in a cop's life, especially when she's a homicide detective. .
#RuthDJ #Bitter #CrimeMeetsUrbanFantasy