Tuesday, April 6, 2010

E is for Eye Color: Browns, Blues and Greens

This is something I'm still sussing out for the new WIP, The Goddess of Vengeance.

My MC, Lauren, is a bi-racial girl (African-American and Caucasian) with medium-brown skin and warm brown eyes with golden flecks.

My problem with eyes at present? She's possessed by the Greco-Roman Goddess of Vengeance, Nemeses. I can't picture the goddess of vengeance with warm brown eyes. I've been thinking that one of the changes that the Goddess works on the body she possesses is to slowly change their eye color to her own.  When Lauren next meets up with Willow, whom Nemeses inhabited until she was passed to Lauren, she'll notice that Willow has very pale blue eyes, with the color almost leached out. Can't you picture cold, pale blue eyes staring out of the dispassionate face of the Goddess of Vengeance?

But, I don't want to be eye-color-centric.  I'm a blue-eyed girl myself.  My MC in Shards, April, is a blue-eyed girl too. I promise, I'm not blue-eye obsessed. I just want to do what feels right with my story, and this obvious evidence of transformation for the possessed body feels right to me.

Since Lauren fights to temper the goddess' urge to vengance, I was thinking maybe her eyes will never turn cold, but the process will change her in a visible way. Maybe her eyes will slowly turn hazel, and then green, as she fears turning into Willow. And then eventually, as her eyes stay green, she'll realize she's successful in fighting the Goddess and doing her bidding simultaneously -- bringing something like justice to the opressed, rather than vengeance.

Not my most informative post ever, but I'm just musing here about what will work in the WIP.


Jen said...

Well I think blue eyes would work in this case whether you are partial to the color or not!! I love the picture I get the chill factor as she looks at me!!!

I'm partial to the red hair green eye look, there is something I find innocent and sweet about it so I've used that for my main character and what's nice is it fits from here on out though I can't use red heads every time! LOL

Ellen Brickley said...

Guinevere, I'm glad you said you can't see the Goddess of Venegence with brown eyes. As a brown-eyed brunette I'm tired of all the bad girls in fiction being dark and all the good girls being blue-eyed and fair. I'm a lovely person, I swear! Except for those times when I'm not :p

I think the eye colour change could work very well, especially since you describe the character's natural eye colour as warm. That just doesn't fit with the Goddess, does it?!

Matthew Rush said...

I think this would totally work. Obviously you can't be too overt about it but if you set it up subtly and let the readers figure it out for themselves it could be amazing.

I do like the cold blue eyes representing the Goddess of Vengeance.

Shameless self promotion:

If you have time please stop by, read and comment on my guest post for today over at Justine Dell's blog:


It's an interesting topic that will hopefully spark some discussion.


Lynn Colt said...

Blue eyes are good at being very cold and frightening. You could also make them an icy gray. I do like the idea of a color change to visually express the changes the MC is going through.

Summer said...

Eye color is always a big thing for me. I remember during one creative writing class in college, someone commented that my MC's eyes were green, and how it seemed like "supernatural" characters always had green eyes.

Well, I took rather offense to that, considering that I have green eyes, and in the entirety of both sides of my families, every single person who is still alive, NO ONE has brown eyes. All either green or blue. So, we're either all magical, or that person was dumb.

But yeah, brown eyes always seemed warm to me. I think you're on the right track with the gradual lightening, though. Or they could turn golden...

Tara said...

I'm another voting for the gradual change - I like that idea!

Shelley Sly said...

Interesting. I always think a great deal about eye color in my characters too. (I have hazel eyes that look brown in most light, but occasionally green or gold.) I like the idea of eye color changing, though.

Shannon said...

I love the red hair and blue eyed look myself..thanks for the post and for being in this challenge. I am following you now and cannot wait to read more of your blog!

Piedmont Writer said...

I like that last version with her retaining the green eyes the best.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I think the pale like ice color is perfect! It's also a dramatic (and chilling, he he) change from warm brown. Run with it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of blending them. Then she's maintaining her own identity while unconsciously giving in to what's taken hold of her. But that's just me - I love happy mediums. :o)

Raquel Byrnes said...

I like the idea of the gradual change from something warm and inviting to something cold and piercing. Great idea. Hope you post some excerpts.

Guinevere said...

Thanks for all the comments, guys! It's so amazing to post about my writing and see all this feedback!

Jen, I'm glad that you picture the Goddess the way I do! I love red hair and green eyes too. When I was writing as a kid I had a bit of an obsession with characters with red hair and green eyes... and I wished I had red hair and green eyes like my characters!

Ellen, I hate that eye/hair color based personality divide in fiction! Although personally, I think a lot of times the blond/fair characters are too boring, bland or just plain dumb. lol. In action movies, the dark-haired girls are usually the cool ones.

Matthew, glad you like the idea! I'll stop by...

Guinevere said...

Lynn, gray is definitely an idea too! That would work.

Summer, that person in your class does sound dumb, but I wouldn't mind being counted as "magical", either. :p

Tara, I'm glad you like that idea too!

Lucky, Shelley! I am so jealous of eyes that change color in different lights.

Aw, thanks Shannon! Welcome to my blog, I'm glad you stopped by. I love meeting new friends in our blogging community!

Guinevere said...

Piedmont, I'm glad you like the green eyes at the end -- I think that's what I'm leaning towards!

Thanks Shannon! as always I appreciate your support and your sense of humor. It does point to what a challenge it will be to convey "cold blue eyes" without overdoing cold/ice/chilly type descriptors!

E. Elle -- I like the idea too. I'm also thinking of how freakish it would be to look in the mirror each day and see your eye color change, just reinforcing how you are becoming a different person -- it would be crazy!

Raquel, thanks for visiting the blog! I posted an excerpt on the 2nd if you're curious, but I'll be posting more in the future too. :)