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My favorite color is  . . .

wait for it . . .


So what does that say about me?

Does it mean that I’m a tree hugger? Or I’m someone who lobbies for clean air? Or maybe I’m in love with money? Or I’m envious of others? Or I’m a little bit Irish?

I’ve taken many writing classes. Some of them focus on character development using extensive questionnaires that delve into the personality, family history, education, etc. of a character in a novel.

One such question is what is the character’s favorite color.

Now you might think this is irrelevant in a novel, but maybe it is not so irrelevant.

If  a character’s favorite color is green, she/he might choose clothing that is green or paint his/her room green.

But that is just superficial.

How would knowing their favorite color show a character’s character(pardon the repetition)?

I’ll explain how it could show more about the character by telling you why my favorite color is green.

When I was little, my mother made me a birthday cake every year and decorated it with the usual “Happy Birthday, Anita”  in pink letters. Sometimes my age was on the cake. But always there were pink roses with green leaves.

Mama had one small bowl of frosting with pink food coloring and another bowl of frosting with green food coloring. Because the pink was used more to make the letters and the roses, there was always more green frosting left over.

It was a treat to eat what remained of the frosting after the cake was decorated. To get more of that sweet stuff, I said my favorite color was green, so my sister was stuck with the pink leftovers(not much).

It was not that I really liked green more than pink, but that the green gave more to satisfy an extremely overactive sweet tooth.

So knowing my favorite color is green reveals that I have a sweet tooth, but it also reveals that I’m a selfish person. I’m not proud of that character flaw. On the contrary, I want to be less selfish.

Maybe your character realizes he/she has a selfish streak, but wants to overcome it.

What might that look like in a novel?

What is your character’s favorite color?




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