in English Language, Essay Technique, Writing Skills

Below, you’ll find a descriptive writing piece, plus my feedback about it which was written by a GCSE student.

Many of the creative writing and descriptive writing questions in exams require you to focus on an object, person, place or thing. In this mini-lesson, I’ll go through the basics of how to describe a place in detail – and not just in a boring way!

Lots of my students get stuck on descriptions; they tell me that they can’t think of anything to write. Or they feel like they can only just list details or features of the object without being ‘creative’. So, if this is relatable for you then keep reading as we’ll be breaking down how to go beyond basic descriptions and transform them into something personal, powerful and meaningful.


Descriptive Writing: What is it and How to do it

Thanks for reading! If you find this useful, take a look at our full Basic Descriptive Writing and Advanced Descriptive Writing courses.


Decaying House: Descriptive Writing Essay

The house, rather old and shabby, as Katherine would describe. The glass windows were broken and shattered across the floor board like an explosion. The floor board squeaked and cracked as a step is taken. Dust fell from the roof and danced like a ballerina in the air.

As the days passed the rooms began to look like a jungle. Bugs crawled on the remains on the bed. Drawers now filled with moss and bugs and plants began to coil around the legs of tables and chairs. Plants grew into communities and more came as time passed by. Bugs gave birth to more bugs, they are like kings, ruling over the room. Across the hall is another room, but there were no other plants except lavender, and no other bugs than bees.

The trees surrounding the old house grew every few millimetres a day, the plants has grown onto the porch of the house and the road leading the way toward the mystery of the world. Moss has grown onto the walls of the house. The dampness inside of the house made a disgusting smell, as if it could kill someone instantly, but is was different before it was abandoned.

Summer came and went. The house grew old and would one day become plain wood again. Leaves fell and grown, the trees, too, would one day be gone and used as something else. Something that is un-useful to the world. The trees surrounding the house protected it from rain and wind. The house still stood like a soldier, even when it knows that it won’t live long.

FEEDBACK

I love your imagery and details in this piece, you have an imaginative mind and the concept of a decayed house is really well executed – you have excellent use of techniques and clear organised paragraphs that progress the imagery forwards. Each paragraph also signifies a clear shift or change in a focal point. The sense of the house being personified as an entity is also excellent! To improve, here are a few tips: 

  • You have  a shift in tense between past and present – try to stick to one tense the whole way through be very specific with imagery, for example instead of saying ‘disgusting smell’, try to describe the smell in detail – is it like rancid milk, or rotting grey meat? Is it the sickly smell of decaying flowers that have sat too long in stagnated water? Go through your memory of terrible smells and find something that fits there! 
  • Try to execute a tonal shift somewhere – go from one clear mood or tone to another in one of the paragraphs 
  • Develop a greater control over punctuation, using more experimental pieces of punctuation such as colons, speech marks and semicolons.

Great work!


Thanks for reading! If you found this useful, take a look at our full Basic Descriptive Writing and Advanced Descriptive Writing courses, as well as other English Language and Literature courses.