Describing the stars is made easy by this extract from the book ‘Writing with Stardust’. For the stars, you should again focus on four main aspects: the colour, the reflection, the shape and using an effective simile.
Try to think of the different components that make up descriptive writing.
It then makes it so much easier to evoke a sensory piece of descriptive writing for the reader.
If you wish to access the full chapter in PDF, click here: DESCRIBING THE STARS
In the meantime, here is the shortened version. I hope you enjoy the post.
5 different colours for the stars:
The reflection of the stars:
1. flashing and flickering
2. sparkling and shimmering
3. gleaming and glittering
4. twinkling and dazzling.
3 creative similes for the stars. The stars looked:
1. …like scattered moondust in the sky.
2. …like a large hand had tossed diamond dust into the sky.
3. …like beacons of hope for all the lost souls of the world.
Stars winked at me from the endless arch of void-black beyond the moon’s corona. In places they were birthstone-blue and beautiful, all a-glitter in their heavenly finery. The ones furthest away, almost outside the span of human comprehension, were like flashing pinpricks in a veil of darkness. They had a faint, silver tint and they looked like they were the distant, glittering sparks from angel fire. All of them were beacons of hope for all the lost souls of the world, or so I thought. It seemed to me that there was a snowfall sparkling in outer space and I felt privileged to witness it.
For much more of the above, please check out my book Writing with Stardust by clicking on any of the book covers underneath.
Write a descriptive essay entitled Night Scene. (2017)#625Lab
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Complete Guide to Leaving Cert English (€)
The cold steel door handle sends a shiver down my spine as I pull it down slowly. (One sentence in the author managed to send a pretty powerful message to the reader: "I am creating a narrative with aesthetic description that appeals to the senses and aims to relate to the reader - and lastly, can I have a H1?" I sure hope so! From this point on, I am reading this essay as if I am watching an ice skater doing impossible tricks, going for the gold medal - and clenching my fists in hopes that they don't slip. A strong opening is one of the best ways to get the examiner on your side.) The dark mahogany door opens with a deep, echoing creak and I feel a trickle of sweat on my forehead. (Suspense and tension = elements of the language of narration.) I slip through, opening the door to a minimal distance and taking care to close it gently behind me. I rub my hands together for warmth as the dark cold night beckons me to start shivering. I inhale and exhale deeply and heavy clouds of mist form as my warm breath meets the cold air. I can taste the coldness in my mouth and I start sweating to warm up. (Well, this last bit doesn't make sense because you only sweat to lose heat - but luckily, this isn't a physiology exam. The rest of this essay is pure description and nothing really happens in it. Few people have the talent of writing so descriptively about something as uneventful as a walk in a forest. The introduction with the door handle, trying to avoid being heard and sweating in suspense sets the scene of a Bond film, so reading about snails and moths for seven paragraphs is a little disheartening. I would rewrite the introduction so that it prepares the reader for the actual body of the essay. Still, this is a brilliant essay.)
My eyes catch the scattered night-time drops of dew as they are illuminated by the pale light of the moon. They shine, like a million eyes staring back at me from the dark green hue of the hedges. Among the bushes, a spider builds a silken web. Precisely and carefully, the spider leaps from each leaf of the thick hedge, constructing its intricate trap. ("Its" used correctly! More brownie points.) The moon hides behind a patch of greyish, navy clouds. Its light breaks through the wispy clouds, penetrating their dark cover. The sky is freckled with brilliant, glowing stars. Their intensity contrasts against the sombre blue of the night sky, and warmth begins to fill me again as I take in this magnificent sight.
Reaching for my torch, I press my thumb into its switch and it turns on with a click. I start walking, my feet crunching the autumn leaves that lay on the moist ground. The brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and browns I saw this morning have changed into sombre blues and dark greens. (Excellent!)
It seems their warmth in colour has succumbed to the chill of the autumn night. (We know, don't spell it out too much.) My flashlight reveals a lone snail making its way across the leaves. It moves without seeming to move at all, taking its time. It leaves behinds a slimy trail of mucus as it goes, which catches the yellow light of my flashlight. I am startled by the sudden loud barking of a dog – my neighbour’s hound. This low growl is then followed by a chorus of other dogs in the suburb, as if in a dog choir. I hear the slow crescendo of an oncoming car. As it gets closer, I hear the crisp traction of its tyres with the black tarmac of the road. It zooms by with a flash of white, blinding light and the splash of a puddle.
I continue walking, basking in the now eerie silence of the suburbs. The thin layers of ice on the pathway crackle under the rubber soles of my shoes. In the distance, a lamppost glows amber. As I approach it, I see a moth fluttering round the light source. It incessantly crashes into the bulb with a faint *dink* each time. A gentle breeze hits me from behind, setting me on my way again. The breeze continues, whistling in my ears and causing nearby trees and bushes to sway idyllically. I think of my childhood, when I thought the dark did not harvest any life. Night-time was a period of nothingness, in which nature went to sleep. I feel glad that I was disillusioned at this age, glad to be able to observe the life and light in the dark of the night.
I point my flashlight on a sign, which reads: ‘Grenwich Forest’. Following the gravelly paths, my shoes make a gritty sound due to the myriad loose pebbles beneath them. The path grows ever mossier as I venture further into the forest. The air changes – it is now damper, but fresher. I take in a deep breath of fresh air, filling my lungs with the natural oxygen of my surroundings. An abrupt hoot beckons my head to look in the direction of a nearby tawny owl. Its intense round eyes seem to me to be almost belligerent, and my grip on the flashlight tightens. As I begin my effort to lurk by this magnificent beast, it takes flight. Its wings stretch into a feathery mass of whites, beige and browns. It flies off into the forest with a dull flapping sound that dies off after a while.
I take a gulp of the forest air through my nostrils. I smell the vibrant smell of green plants, of autumnal foliage, of colourful flowers. Looking up, I observe the light of the pale moon as it slithers between the tops of the forest’s trees. It transforms their dull, dark leaves into a majestic glowing green. The path has now faded into fully overgrown moss and dew-dappled grass. My shoes now squelch on the wet ground and with each step, I seem to be sinking deeper into the dirt. The moon has moved higher into the sky now and I knew it would be time to go home soon.
All of a sudden, I see a large illumination of light to my right. Curious, I trod through the overgrowth towards the source to look upon quite a striking sight: this collection of light is actually many little fireflies swarming together. I am awe-struck at their magic quality; how do they manage to capture that light? They flutter around - in their hundreds – leaving a glowing trail of light after them. Each insect is as magnificent as the next, flying in harmony alongside each other in the eerie silence of the night.
I venture back home, with a briskness to my gait. The moon is nearly at the end of its tenure in the sky, and the myriad sounds of cars tells me I need to get home quickly. I glance into the windshield of one woman as she is waiting in the early morning traffic. She has dark rings of fatigue around her eyes open in puffed slits of redness. Yawning, she takes a sip of what I presume is a warm, caffeinated drink. My own fatigue weighs down on me as I feel my muscles struggle to do my bidding. My stride becomes erratic, due to my sudden lethargy and I struggle to keep my eyes open. One deep inhale of the clear dawn air gives me enough fuel to make it to the door of my house. Faced with the same dilemma as before, I open the door at a snail’s pace, anticipating the dull creek, and shut it behind me in a similar fashion. I wipe any evidence of the night into the thick, brown bristles of the doormat. Taking off my tattered shoes, I slink stealthily up the stairs in an effort to avoid detection.
Once in bed, my eyes succumb to weariness and close heavily. I dream of the night life just moments away.
Leaving Cert English Papers are marked using "PCLM"
Clarity of Purpose:P: Focus
– a descriptive essay, appropriate to the title Night Scene understanding of genre
Coherence of Delivery
C: The extent to which the descriptive writing is successfully sustained and developed effective shaping of the essay sequencing and management of ideas, etc. This isn't quite as strong because the introduction doesn't 100% match the body of the essay.
Efficiency of Language Use
L: Quality and control of descriptive language e.g. style, vocabulary, syntax, punctuation, etc. All excellently done.