Colourful writing — can be achieved in many ways. It is true that a good writer will provide colour through the words, phrases and sentences they create, but could the use of colours to emphasise moods and to distinguish the dialogue when two characters are taking part in a long conversation.
We no longer live in the age of the typewriter which could type text in a maximum of two colours, black and red (superior models only). As such there is no reason why a writer cannot make use of colours within the body of electronic documents. It is perhaps historical conventions that leaves writers limiting themselves to black ink. We can embolden it, underline it, or even italicise it and perhaps use block capitals. But how colourful can writing be?
Truth is there is so much more we could do by breaking free of the confines of our automatic choice, black. Through colour it is possible to show moods and emotions. Can dialogue be shown differently? Colour adds so many visual clues which can certainly enhance the value of the writing, yet colour is so much more that just the images (which in and of themselves are important).
Moods and Emotions
With a wide range of colours available it is possible to portray emotions more clearly through the use of colours, the classic ones being red for anger or rage and green with envy. These could cause problems for those who suffer colour blindness who see both red and green as the same shade. It was easy to select these colours because they are dictated by common settings, but other settings may be entirely personal, for example I associate the colour purple with pain becoming red at its worst, yet a friend once described pain as orange, so it is clear that there are no common conventions for the use of colour in order to show moods, emotions and other feelings through the use of written text.
My father once described the concept of love as sky-blue pink. It was his way to describe a confusing concept (e.g. and infusion of opposites because of the colours normally associated with baby boys and girls) rather than specific use of colour for the concept, in other words he was saying that describing love is complex and full of contradictions. Which it is.
There are also some practical problems with colour, for example yellow on a white background is almost unreadable, but this colour works well on a black background. Using colour to represent mood selection can be complex.
In black text we tend to state anger as both UPPERCASEANDBOLD (which is one of the reasons why you may have been told that it is generally considered rude to send emails in upper case) and certainly redness could enhance the power of such a statement, with BOLDREDUPPERCASE being the extreme of anger. Its considered rude to make Page Titles of section headers upper case and bold.
The only other colour convention to note is the use of blue underlining to indicate use of a hyper-link. This is very important from the perspective on on-line material.
Colourful Writing and Speech
Great animosity or great love between two characters is something an author is free to explore. The essence of any story is about the colour of the speech used. Of course in part this can mean the expletives used but also relates to the interactions between one person and another, to highlight hidden agendas and detail the thoughts, hopes and dreams of the main players. This can be as true of a non-fiction story.
We should perhaps consider using colours is in a dialogue. This is for use when there is discussion between Ben and Mary while the friends are traveling together down the long and winding roads. If Ben’s words were one colour, say purple, while Mary’s words were highlighted in another colour, for example orange, then it would be easier to see who said which words without having to resort to adding “he said” or “she said” to segments of the speech.
There are certainly limits here because it would be very expensive to print physical books in colour. This is not a limitation when producing e-books, or blogs. At its simplest encompass a word colour for the main characters. The default, black, is there to guide readers across the story, is the colour of narrative elements of a story at normal times.