Back to Black

“Before, when I didn’t know what colour to put down, I put down black. Black is a force. I depend on black to simplify the construction. Now I’ve given up blacks.”

~ Henri Matisse

Here’s a tip: Never give a character a colour for a name.

I made the mistake of naming someone Robert Black. As I neared the end of writing the manuscript, somehow I got it in my head that Blake would be much better than Black, so I made use of that nifty editing trick and pressed ctrl-F to change Black to Blake. Which changed ALL the blacks, both in colour and name, to Blake.

So I once again used ctrl-F and changed Blake back to Black, which left all the blacks Black, if you see what I mean. I spent the next several days weeding out Black shoes, Black hair, Blackened eyes using boot-Black, etc.

It’s surprising what you’ll miss on your third, even fourth re-read. Just yesterday I found, sitting placidly in the middle of a sentence, a Black saxophone case.

Lesson learned: Never give a character a colour for a name.

Categories: General and My Books.