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What Color(s) are your Books?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by DragonOfTheAerie, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. The "Find" button on Microsoft Word really is quite nifty. I performed a fascinating experiment with it today.

    I think I was still thinking about synesthesia. In my current WIP, I wondered which colors I used most predominantly, so, out of curiosity, I ran a search on various color words (red, blue, white, etc.) and wrote down the results. Then I decided to do this with the previous draft of Red Nights (current WIP) and all of my books. The results were pretty interesting.

    Red Nights, current draft (50k words) colors by # of uses:

    Red: 66
    Blue: 15
    Yellow: 7
    Green: 2
    Purple: 8
    Orange: 1
    Black: 55
    White: 17
    Grey: 22
    Brown: 9

    Red wins, but the only reason for this is that it's part of a title/name and therefore doesn't exactly refer to the color. If we don't count that, black is by far the most common. After that, grey and white, followed by blue.

    Red Nights, first draft (110k words) colors by # of uses:

    Red: 53
    Blue: 18
    Yellow: 7
    Green: 33
    Purple: 9
    Orange: 2
    Black: 62
    White: 46
    Grey: 32
    Brown: 2

    Black is most common again, followed by red, white, green, and then grey. That's not much different--except that there is MUCH more green. Green was almost nonexistent in the newer draft. Aside from white and green, not a lot of difference, huh? I find it interesting that the numbers themselves almost match the second draft...which is half the length. Does this mean there are MORE colors in the newer draft?

    My first book (a really crappy fantasy novel, about 80k words) colors by # of uses:

    Red: 47
    Blue: 49
    Yellow: 28
    Green: 53
    Purple: 8
    Orange: 28
    Black: 66
    White: 49
    Grey: 20
    Brown: 24

    Way more balanced. Red Nights is drab and neutral colored by comparison. Black predominates again, followed by green, then a tie between blue and white, then red. All the colors are pretty well used, except poor purple.

    When I rewrote that first book and made it unrecognizable (88k words) colors by # of uses:

    Red: 24
    Blue: 35
    Yellow: 19
    Green: 41
    Purple: 11
    Orange: 1
    Black: 80
    White: 49
    Grey: 15
    Brown: 7

    Black predominates again, this time by far, followed by white, green, and blue, then red. Basically the same as the last, though it's a little less balanced this time. Where did orange go? ...wait. I changed the color of the dragon.

    When i tried to rewrite it again (48k words, partial) colors by # of uses:

    Red: 30
    Blue: 24
    Yellow: 3
    Green: 28
    Purple: 10
    Orange: 5
    Black: 65
    White: 28
    Grey: 14
    Brown: 3

    Black wins again by even farther. It's over twice the next most common color, which is red, followed by a tie of green and white, followed by blue.

    First of all, the three drafts of my first book had it transform VASTLY. And yet, the most common colors are basically the same: black, white, blue, green, and red. Red Nights has a similar consistency between drafts: black, red, white, and grey predominating.

    Every book has black as the most common color. (Except the current WIP, but I'm uninclined to count that due to "red" being part of an oft repeated proper noun.) The current WIP is the only one without a ton of green, and green all but disappears in it. Except for my first book, orange seems to be the least common color overall. Purple is almost consistent across the board--doesn't vary by more than 3 uses in any case.

    If others did this experiment, would similar results occur? Is there something about me liking black or is this common among books?

    Does anyone else want to try?
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Goblins at the Gates

    red: 55
    blue: 23
    green: 27
    black: 85
    brown: 45
    orange: 12
    white: 92
    and so on. Had to make sure there was a space before and after, so "red" as a suffix did not get picked up. I figured the ratios are about right even if the absolute numbers would be adjusted; e.g., hyphenated colors. Also, gold might figure as a color but also as a metal.

    The predominance of black is not surprising because of night.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  3. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Sage

    Considering how fond I am of describing things as 'aureate' or 'ebony' and so on, I don't think I'll even attempt this.
  4. Didn't consider that. In my younger and more pretentious days, this definitely might skew the results. I should have run a search for "violet" as well as purple, also.
  5. I did separate searches for " red ", "-red", "red." and "red," and it caught lots of extra uses. I didn't search wth spaces for the other colors, and as a result probably got things like "evergreen" counted.

    In Red Nights I got an extra occurrence of "green" that i didn't count due to a character using it as a synonym for "inexperienced."

    It's not precise.
  6. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    I don't have a book to try this on, but just skimming through some stuff I notice that I mention green quite often. I tend to use dark instead of black. For red I almost always go for more specific tints, like sanguine, cordovan or ruby. I didn't mention any other colors in the writings I checked.

    Don't know what that says about me.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  7. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Sage

    Okay, I decided to go through my soon-to-be-released novel ‘The Ways of Wizardry’ and do a count. These are out of a total word count of a little under 70,00. It is skewed a bit toward red because one of the main characters is a red demon (though I sometimes referred to it as crimson or ‘wine-colored.’).

    red: 38
    blue: 23
    black: 18
    green: 14
    gold/golden: 14
    crimson: 12
    white: 11
    brown: 9
    gray: 8
    yellow: 7
    violet: 3
    wine: 3 (as a color—lots of references to the beverage!)
    purple: 2
    ruddy: 2
    olive: 2
    orange: 1
    amber: 1
    silver: 1
    ebony: 1
    slate: 1

    Some golds, silvers, bronzes, referred to metals, not colors, so are not counted.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  8. I like this color scheme.

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