If you search for colour on the internet you’ll find copious pages on the meaning behind colours. Most of them agree with each other. Some don’t. Some vary depending on cultural norms and some very on abilities.
Not really. The abilities bit I added. That only varies in my world. The world of the Nephilim Code.
In Nephilim Code, Nova sees the abilities of other Nephilim as colours and images. Assigning colours to abilities was no small task. It took a word document and a spreadsheet, not only to determine which abilities would be assigned which colour, but also to keep track of the colours I had already assigned.
Honestly, I was ecstatic in Edward that he didn’t see abilities in colour. I thought I could do away with my spreadsheet. Yeah, well – if you’ve read Edward, you’d see how well that idea turned out. I had to keep the colour files after all – AND create a new one for flavours, I ended up combining the two to make it easier.
But back to this story…the one on the colours.
How did I determine which colour to assign to which ability. Well, at first it was Nova who did that. When I wrote what abilities she saw on the Angelis brothers and what she first saw in the photos, I wrote whatever sounded cool at the time.
- Zeph had wings…well he flew, that made sense.
- Ben had a rainbow aura…wow, that sounds so pretty, and I know his ability is healing; let’s go with that.
- Edward had spikes…well, that worked with how the story was going, so that’ll do.
- Julius has ice etched into his skin…that’s new. Right, he’ll need to have something to do with ice.
Also at this stage with writing Nova’s story I didn’t know why she saw some abilities as colours and some as images. As I said, she was just telling me what she saw, and I let it happened.
Then I hit a snag. How was she to determine what colour meant what ability to aid her at Ibira Corp, when I didn’t even know?
I had to backtrack and recreate everything. This is the trials and errors of a ‘pantser’. I’ve discovered that it is really, really helpful to have somethings written down, like timelines…and character ability representation.
In the first two books of the Nephilim Code there are 34 named characters. Only two are human, thus no abilities. Some of those characters are mentioned in passing and their abilities aren’t explored (at least in these two books 🙂 ) which leaves 26 with identified abilities. Of these 26, 19 character abilities are ‘seen’ in colour. So I had 19 abilities to ‘colour code’ as it were…and as the rules in my version of the Nephilim world dictated, no two abilities are the same.
19 colours doesn’t sound like much, but if Nova was going to determine abilities based on what she saw, than I had to ensure that the colours had a constant ‘meaning’. And eventually I hope to explore other abilities, so I might have 32 abilities to colour code after all. That is a lot of colours to find.
I had three ‘trackers’ in my story. If she saw one with a ‘green’ ability, the next one with an ‘orange’ ability and the next with a ‘blue’ ability, then there would be no hope of using what she saw to understand the ability that Nephilim had.
So I decided to colour code classifications rather than individual abilities.
In the first two books of the Nephilim Code – Petra, Daniel and Chaska are all trackers. Again, I had to take care of the world rule I’d created…‘no ability is the same’. Each ‘tracks’ a different way, thus each must present a different way.
- Petra, who needs to be at the last known location of the item/person no later than 72 hours after that item/person has left the scene to track it/them – shows as a green laser beam.
- Daniel, who needs to hold/touch the item/person no longer than 24 hours prior to tracking – shows as a green mist around the item/person
- Chaska, who only needs to have seen the item/person once before – shows as a green cord stretching between him and the item/person.
All track differently, and all presents to Nova’s sight slightly differently, but as you can see, all of them presents as green.
Some of the others are as follows:
Blue – Mimicry
Black – Vision
Red – Limited manipulation
Yellow – Protection
Each of the ability classifications have been assigned a colour. And now that world rule has been decided, I still get to have fun with how that ability is defined by that colour.
What I mean by that can be seen in Ben Angelis and Lauder Huber.
Both have ‘rainbow’ colour. Both have abilities which are classified as ‘Physical manipulation.’
While Ben heals, Lauder affects what your body feels. The fun part is determining how that ability is defined by that colour.
Ben has a rainbow aura which sinks through the skin of the person he heals.
Lauder has a rainbow net over his skin which stretches forward to cover the body of the person he is ‘affecting’.
See – I still get to play.
And what about the abilities which present as images rather than colours? Well the first two to do that to me were Zeph and Julius. I had to figure out what was so special with these two. It was Zeph, himself who gave me the answer.
At first when Zeph came to the rooftop, he flew. The disappearing act, I had originally attributed to the second Nephilim who was with him that night. It was only later, when he landed after Nova had become Nephilim and she could see through the invisibility that I realised Zeph had two very distinct and non-related abilities. He ends up with three, but at the time I was trying to identify the ‘wings’ Nova saw, with invisibility as well as flight. That’s when it hit me. She sees an ‘image representation’ of his ability instead of colour because he has more than one ability. His classification changed from ‘Flight’ to ‘Multi-ability’, and to Nova, a ‘multi-ability’ Nephilim shows as an image rather than a colour.
Bingo, I had the explanation for Zeph, Julius and the rest of the Nephilim with ‘multi-abilities’.
And, now that that the colours vs images is explained and you’ve re-read Nephilim Code – and have picked it up – yes I have noticed that I did miss one ‘multi-ability’ and that one Nephilim has their abilities showing as colours. Unfortunately, I only picked it up AFTER the book was published. If you’re stretching your hand to the sky right now saying… ‘I know. I know who that is’…gold star to you, but please keep it to yourself, so others have something in the story to find.