Thursday, April 12, 2018

Colorful Characters @kathleenlawless

Colors are infinitely interesting.  Most of us have one or more favorite colors; colors that we respond to and colors that we like not so much.  Colors can not only evoke a mood or a memory, advertisers would kill to know your favorite color.  Publishers aim for the popular color choices when designing a book cover.  I suggest you not let Facebook know your favorite color!
Recently my boss put us through a color test, the theory being that by knowing our true color he can get the most productivity from us.  I won’t say he succeeds at this, because I don’t believe it’s in his personal color make-up  (no empathy) to do so.  But as a group we were reduced to 4 colors.

Thus, fresh from my day at the office, I decided to color code my characters. 

Blue’s strength is authenticity.  Blues are emphatic, adept at motivating and interacting with others.  They are romantic, affectionate and supportive.  (as a romance novelist, I am a true blue)  We hug a lot.  I love cards.

Orange’s strength is skillfulness.  They are adventure-seeking, spontaneous, competitive.  They love tools and they learn by doing.  Stunt drivers would definitely be orange.  They never buy cards

Gold’s strength is duty.  They are loyal, serious and practical.  They juggle details, work hard, and respect authority.  Golds make great soldiers and police officers.

Green’s strengths is knowledge.  Greens are analytical, conceptual, independent.  Their head rules their heart.  They are uneasy when their emotions try to take over.  Your accountant is most likely green.

Of course everyone has splashes of each color in their make-up, but one color dominates.  And think of the possible conflicts.  An Orange, always on the search for adventure and taking risks, matched with a Gold who respects the rules and is sensible and practical. 

A Green who believes that feelings once stated, are obvious, conflicting with a Blue who thrives on small gestures of love and appreciation.    The possibilities are endless!

Then I had further fun with some archetypes. Warrior-Orange.  Librarian – Gold.  Conflict!
Freespirit – Orange.  Schoolteacher – Blue.  Conflict!   You get the idea.

I believe the more tools a writer uses to develop a character, the more multi-layered and authentic that character becomes.  It may not make it into the book but my characters all have a birthday and a horoscope, a name that matches their personality in numerology, an archetype, and now a color.  By using all these pieces to weave together a whole, I try to create a character that strikes a chord with my reader.  A character they can relate to and care about.    

For more on your color personality check out the booklet called True Colors, Keys To Personal Success, with the simple test to determine your color.   Perhaps it will even help you deal with that difficult coworker or cantankerous relative.


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