Anybody who’s been to a paint store or a bead website knows this is true: there are dozens of variations on any one color. To pick just one site, Fire Mountain has somewhere over 40 different varieties of white just in Delica 11/0 alone.
Oddly enough, red is one of the colors that tends to come in a limited number of shades. Probably because just a slight departure from true red shades into what we tend to call orange, pink, brown, or magma.
But back to white. I suspect one of the reasons there are so many variations in white beads is the popularity of white for weddings. So you can have lovely designs, intricate details, and all of it still falls under the accepted category of white.
And this is where beads and words, in my mind, intersect yet again. Because writing is the ultimate two-color design: black letters on a white page.
(Unless you’ve switched around stuff in your text to have white letters on a blue page, or chartreuse on pink, or what have you. In which case, ow, my eyes salute your visual fortitude, and good luck with that.)
So a writer has just those two colors to evoke all the brilliant panoply of our 3-D, wildly colorful world. And part of the way to do that is careful choice of shades of meaning – in this case, words.
Does your protagonist run quickly or swiftly? Does the antagonist strike fear into the hearts of men, or drown all souls in a rising tide of horror? Are we looking out on a quiet dawn, a peaceful dawn, or the hush of a new day, perfect as the dawn of the world?
Details matter. Choice of words matters. Like using a matte white versus a silk-white bead in your design: do you just want to hit the viewer with a dot of white, like a drop of paint, a sailboat’s hull, or do you want a glimmer and sparkle that hints of snowflakes, sun on ice, fragile feathers?
There are reasons to use each of these. So when we’re writing, it’s always a good idea to take a step back now and again, and check if we want to use that exact word in that specific spot. Readers will appreciate it!