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Aftermath - creative writing.

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Aftermath BANG! I woke. I opened my eyes but was unable to see. The dust had settled like concrete boulders into the corners of my eyes! Everything was deadly still. The wind fiercely gave a shout. A black cloud stood dominating the demolished town. I moved my hands to wipe my irritated eyes, boulders, brickwork, broken furniture and complete devastation stood before me. A ray of light appeared through cracks of the rubble. The boulders took on features like monsters and ogres - making my chest tighten with fear. I vociferated for help. No one was around. I was scared: Petrified. I managed to pull my achy bones out from the debris, the pain was horrific. ...read more.


I turned. The flames of fire danced before my eyes. The heat scorched my face like the hottest sauna could. The smoke was a ferocious lion ready to pounce. I moved as quickly as I could, using all the energy I had. Slowly crawling like a young baby. I felt hopeless: disconsolate! The further I crawled the louder the low voices became. It was a horrendous atmosphere! The town had become a tragedy! Buildings around me had collapsed surrounded with sneaky smoke, brickwork and furniture were slowly burning away, the air was thick full of unknown flumes, why wasn't anyone around? What had happened? No building stood tall, burnt out office work scattered the debris, ashes and litter played in the wind. ...read more.


The site of panicked people was ahead of me. My heart skipped a beat. I shouted, "Hello, can you hear me". No one replied. "Can you hear me?" I screamed. I waited. I listened. A young lady ran over to me. "Its okay, you're safe now," announced the lady. "What's happened? What's happened?" I repeated. She didn't answer. She grabbed my arm and wrapped it round her neck giving me support. We approached the flashing lights. Countless amounts of ambulances and fire engines appeared. Hundreds of people were gathered staring at the ruined town. Many people were hysterically screaming and crying. Dead bodies were covered with white cloths. I became speechless. Tears ran down my face. "Its over, you survived", quietly explained the young lady. I took a big breath. I closed my eyes. I thought. One word repeated through my head: lucky. ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This is a good effort from the candidate. In the answer there is evidence of a good attempt to utilise many descriptive techniques in a clear writing style here. The use of First Person narrative helps draw the reader in, ...

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Response to the question

This is a good effort from the candidate. In the answer there is evidence of a good attempt to utilise many descriptive techniques in a clear writing style here. The use of First Person narrative helps draw the reader in, as does the attention-grabbing first word of the essay, "BANG!". Though a tad clichéd (I would avoid this personally, as it can feel slightly comic-book and not very realistic of an actual explosion), it sits well with the subsequent monologue. One thing stopping this answer from achieving the maximum mark is the use, or overuse, of adjective and metaphor. Though the use of imagery is consistently prominent throughout, some of the candidates metaphors and similes tend to be slightly misplaced or awkward-sounding e.g. - "The dust had settled like concrete boulders in my eyes". It seems odd that boulders should fit into someone's eyes, or they they be made out of man-made concrete - keeping the dust as separate particles might create more of an uncomfortable feel, for instance - "The dust had settled into the anguished contours of my face, which had screwed itself up to protect my eyes". This is not something that will make the examiner want to lower marks however, it may be prudent to consider not weighing down the writing with needless imagery that really isn't worth the time - you need to think how this character is feeling - would they be able to conjure up such elaborately intangible imagery in light of the explosion that just occurred, or would they be more distressed and laterally-thinking?

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is not marked here, but the Level of Description is. So I will mark this.

The Level of Description is very advanced for a GCSE student, and shows great maturity in being able to construct such such complex imagery through use of metaphors, similes, and anthropomorphism, however, some of it feels like the candidate's efforts are wrongly dissipated. Saying smoke is "a lion ready to pounce" does not give the feeling of near-toxic fumes at all, neither in motion nor in terms of it's likeness to a lion. Candidates must watch for this, and must think through their metaphors before simply likening them to something else. A cloud of gas might linger as if a stalking lion but a lion doesn't bare any of the subtleties or deceptiveness or invisibility of some smoke - a snake recoiled may have been a better comparison, slowly snaking it's way through every possible crevice whilst barely visible.

This may seem like a lot to say about such a small error, but the comparison doesn't feel natural and often stumps the flow of the essay, as it becomes hard to imagine the imagery the candidate is trying to create. Aside from this, the answer is very well written and displays knowledge of a variety of techniques at a writer's disposal when trying to write about such an event.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) in terms of the building blocks of written language (grammar, spelling and punctuation) is fine, and there is no cause for concern with regard to typing errors and the like. Aside from reminding the candidate to be careful with how they apply similes, metaphors, adjectives and adverbs, there is little to point out with regard to QWC.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 07/08/2012

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