The Road to "My Compass Home": Lucy's Colorful Quirks

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of writing this series is Lucy's quirk of associating colors with moods.  It was inspired by the psychological synesthesia, in which the senses are intertwined for some folks.  Hearing colors, especially among musicians, is one of many traits in this condition.  While Lucy does not have synesthesia, she associates colors with how she feels because she's a painter.  The world is this gal's canvas, and her favorite past-time is thinking about how she'd paint the day or mood.

The process for writing this is actually pretty fun, once a small understanding of color psychology is developed.  While writing Welcome Home and now My Compass Home, I found that the more I thought about why Lucy was thinking about a certain splash of color here and there, the more I was able to connect her senses with the scene.  You have to know your scenery, of course, but thinking about it in-depth when you're so used to living in that realm (at least mentally while you're writing it) really helps bring out certain little things that she might notice that could spark a colorful inspiration for her.
While it takes a little bit of extra work to "brainstorm" what Lucy's senses would be picking up on, and what colors could be associated with them, I am very glad that I included it in the final draft.  I don't know about you guys, but after I set the book aside for awhile and picked it back up again to reread and begin plotting the second book, it felt like a very whimsical, lighthearted thing for Lucy to be thinking about, and created additional imagery that helped drive the emotional points home (thus the color psychology.) 

For now...

Doesn't that just give you imagery galore?  Notice the light pastels and spring (related to life, rebirth, growing, youth) along with the news that she's giving Spencer: it allows the reader to come to their own conclusion while almost feeling her excitement.  Either that or I'm too invested in my characters...what say you?

And if you're wondering why Lucy is tempted to tell the others before her husband, it's because she'll be seeing them a few weeks before she gets to see Spencer again.  Why?  You'll have to wait and see...

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