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Below, you’ll find a Descriptive Writing Piece: Nightmare World, along with the writing process, example plan and written extract. The piece below was given to a student as a writing prompt. With direction and support during the planning phase, he produced an excellent piece of work! His piece would receive a high grade, though it isn’t perfect it is at the top level of what can be expected for a student of his age. It was not written in timed conditions, but it was written in one sitting without being redrafted. Examiner’s comments and feedback have also been provided. 

Whether you’re studying descriptive writing for the first time, or more experienced with the process, reading through the process, plan and final answer of this student will help you to familiarise yourself with the concept of descriptive writing and improve your own creative writing works. Feel free to try your own ‘Nightmare World’ answer after reading through the document! 

Thanks for reading! If you need help with Descriptive Writing in general, you can access our full online courses here:

Basic Descriptive Writing course

Advanced Descriptive Writing course

AQA English Language Paper 1

All our English Language, Literature and Essay Writing courses

QUESTION: 

“My Nightmare World” – write a description of a nightmare world, as suggested by this writing prompt. 

TECHNIQUES TO INCLUDE: 

Simile 
Metaphor 
Visual image 
Auditory image 
Olfactory image 
Gustatory image 
Repetition 
Alliteration 
Onomatopoeia 
Hyperbole 
Personification 
Assonance / consonance / sibilance 
Dialogue 

FIRE WORDS (Research relevant vocabulary) 

  • Inferno 
  • Embers 
  • Flames 
  • Blaze 
  • Coal
  • Spurting  Sputtering 
  • Scorching 
  • Flammable 
  • Catastrophic 
  • Majestic 
  • Feeble 
  • Fierce 
  • Luminous 
  • Savage 
  • Primitive 
  • Ruthless 
  • Wild 
  • Flickering 
  • Smoulder 
  • Raging 
  • Hellish 
Photo by Issy Bailey on Unsplash

THOUGHTS: 

  • Think of events or experiences that cause fear 
  • What are you personally afraid of? Explore your own fears, and write in a way that captures your own experience of something. 
  • If you have time, research your idea more thoroughly! Read different descriptions of a similar topic, also read about your topic in more depth. In this case, the student read articles about wildfires in Australia that helped to inspire some of the imagery in his piece. 
  • Refine your concept – choose one topic that’s precise and focussed (CHOSEN TOPIC – VILLAGE ON FIRE) 
  • Jot down ideas and thoughts – these could be images, ideas for setting or characters, ideas for tone and mood, or other details
  • You may also want to develop a list of good vocabulary or techniques that will help you ambitiously push the boundaries of your writing

PLAN:

  1. Description of Scenery – Forest. Relaxed tone, flowing long sentences
  2. Smell, sight (black smoke, coming out of the trees)
  3. Fire leaps out, description of colours and effects, people run away
  4. Description of feelings, sweating etc
  5. Fire gets larger, more intense – inferno
  6. Description of final scenery (all burnt)
EXTRACT FROM THE FINAL PIECE

As I looked out of my window, I saw the beautiful forest, in the afternoon sun, trees swaying in the gentle breeze, with the welcoming sounds of the forest surrounding the greenery. Birds singing, the flowing river, glistening in the sunlight and people walking around enjoying the serene day. People having picnics, people strolling around, happily.

But, suddenly, I began to smell a pungent, bitter odour, an acrid smell repeated which made me flinch as I began to cough. I looked back up and saw black, thick smoke, oozing out of the dense canopy of the trees, spreading out into the open sky. It enveloped the whole of the town, a darkening mass, which blocked out the sun. I was shocked, and confused: what was this mysterious, coal black fog, shrouding the entire town?

At once, dark orange flames sprang out of the forest, leaping from tree to tree – embers sparking out everywhere, trees collapsing, scorched and blackened from the rage of the fiery inferno….

*Please note that this is just an extract, the full piece is available on our website.

Thanks for reading! If you need help with Descriptive Writing in general, you can access our full online courses here:

Basic Descriptive Writing course

Advanced Descriptive Writing course

AQA English Language Paper 1

All our English Language, Literature and Essay Writing courses

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