One of the challenges in writing evocative descriptions is getting the color just right. Making your reader see what you see will draw him or her into the scene, and will help you create a three-dimensional world out of words. That means having a good color repertoire, and one that lets you pull an adjective or noun out of your tool box that will evoke the color without necessarily mentioning it.

So here’s one of my favorite writing exercises: the color list. Since it’s May and finally spring in Chicago, green is what I see everywhere, so today’s writing challenge is to come up with words that let you see green, and only green. So a word like “leaves” will not work because, come fall, they can be anything but green. You’d have to say “leaves in May” which can be quite evocative. What are words that make you see green? Paint palettes, plants and food are great sources. Here’s my list for today, please add yours in comments:

avocado
cactus
celery
clover
cucumber
emerald
eucaplyptus
fern
forest
Granny Smith apple
grass
Kiwi
jade
juniper
leaves in May
lichen
lime
mint
moss
olive green
pea
pistachio
sage
shamrock
verdigris