Updated: Sep 29, 2022
So, your homework is - write about a frightening experience. 😟 How do you make your writing come alive? Well here's a tip.
When you want to convey a sense of urgency or fear, write in short sentences. Even one word sentences. Let's say you wake up during the night and realise the house is on fire. Now, you could begin, 'I woke up and smelled smoke. I ran into my parent's bedroom...' but let's face it, that's a bit boring and also, it tells me what's happening, but doesn't describe what's happening. Now, let's see the difference short, punchy sentences can make plus some descriptive words.
'Smoke! Sweeping up my nose. I sit bolt upright. Eyes stinging. Lungs gasping. I stumble from the bed. Can't get to the front door. Flames chewing the stairs. Wood crackling. Windows shattering. Heart thumping. Mum!'
See? Be there. Describe what you see in short, urgent sentences. Let's try another. The plane you're on is in difficulty.
'Nowhere to run. Can't get off. Seat belt fastened. White-knuckled passengers. A woman is crying. The cabin crew are seated. Strapped. Wide-eyed. I'm sweating. Brace! Brace! I bend at the waist. Head against the safety card. Wish I'd read it now.'
Be brave. Have a go, you have nothing to lose.
PS Homework Bound is a play on words - Simon and Garfunkel and their fabulous song Homeward Bound. Absolute classic. Not your era, I know, but well worth a listen.