Colour in Writing 

So, this is something I’ve been musing over for a while, and now, I put it to you. 

As an author, I tend to not describe my characters too much. I sometimes add hair colour, eye colour, whether they wear glasses, have braces etc. But, the idea of writing someone’s colour has never occurred to me. 

I simply never describe the skin tone of a character unless completely necessary for example; 

he was a stark constant to Skylar, especially with his ivory skin tone against Skylar’s more olive skin tone – Ashton (2017)

Other than statements like the one above, I tend to avoid the idea of writing colour. I like to leave that up to the person reading the story, if they want to see one of my characters as a tall, thin, white boy feel free, if they want to see them as a short, rounded Asian boy, do so, I want people to read my characters how they want to, not how I dictate it. 

Of course, I’m aware of diverse writing, but I often wonder if pushing it so much makes the story less enjoyable, less relatable.

But, now, it comes to you, which do you prefer, 

Readers: Reading and knowing the colour or ethnically of a character? Or not?

Authors: Writing your exact image, your picture in your head? Or not?


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