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Can someone please mark this piece of writing I did for GCSE English language?

Title: The Forgotten Key

Once upon a time, in a land veiled by mist and mystery, there stood a forgotten castle, its ancient stones echoing tales of a forgotten era. At the heart of this castle lay a secret, guarded by time itself.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows over the desolate landscape, a lone figure emerged from the depths of the forest. This was Alex, a curious adventurer drawn to the castle by whispers of its hidden treasure. With each step, the crunch of fallen leaves beneath Alex's boots echoed through the stillness of the night.

Entering the castle's crumbling courtyard, Alex felt a shiver of anticipation. The air was thick with the weight of centuries, and the walls seemed to pulse with a life of their own. Undeterred, Alex pressed on, guided by a mysterious force urging them forward.

Inside, the castle was a labyrinth of forgotten corridors and winding staircases. Cobwebs draped like curtains across the forgotten tapestries, and dust danced in the flickering candlelight. But amidst the decay, there was a glimmer of something precious—a key, half-buried beneath a layer of debris.

With trembling hands, Alex reached out and grasped the key, feeling its ancient power course through their veins. Suddenly, the castle seemed to awaken, its forgotten halls illuminated by a newfound light. Doors long sealed shut creaked open, revealing treasures beyond imagination.

But as Alex delved deeper into the castle's depths, they soon realized that the true treasure was not gold or jewels, but the stories etched into the very stones themselves. Each room held a fragment of the past, a tale waiting to be told.

And so, as the first light of dawn crept across the horizon, Alex emerged from the castle, their heart heavy with the weight of centuries. Yet they carried with them a treasure far greater than any riches—a story, waiting to be shared with the world.

In the end, the castle faded back into the mists of time, its secrets once again shrouded in mystery. But Alex knew that some secrets were meant to be shared, their echoes ringing through the ages like the chime of a forgotten bell.

And so, as they set out on their next adventure, Alex carried with them the key to unlock the stories of the past, forever bound to the pages of history.
I can't mark this properly, given you haven't said which specification this is for, but some general comments:

- Language is absolutely great - use of similes, metaphors and pathetic fallacy throughout is excellent, as is the way you build up tension. Overall, this is a really good descriptive piece, and don't let my critical points below take away from that!

- The structure is a bit strange - a slightly longer paragraph or paragraphs, combining some of the description in the middle would add more emphasis to later on. For example, you could combine the first two paragraphs and/or the fourth and fifth.
- I always think 'but' is quite a weak discourse marker to use to start a sentence. That may be more my personal preference. The sentence "But as Alex delved deeper into the castle's depths, they soon realized that the true treasure was not gold or jewels, but the stories etched into the very stones themselves" has two "buts" in so one of them would ned to be changed.
- The range of punctuation used is quite weak - you only use commas, full stops and dashes. Exclamation marks, question marks (rhetorical questions), brackets, colons or semi colons should be used to improve this.
Original post by ClarinetQueen
I can't mark this properly, given you haven't said which specification this is for, but some general comments:
- Language is absolutely great - use of similes, metaphors and pathetic fallacy throughout is excellent, as is the way you build up tension. Overall, this is a really good descriptive piece, and don't let my critical points below take away from that!
- The structure is a bit strange - a slightly longer paragraph or paragraphs, combining some of the description in the middle would add more emphasis to later on. For example, you could combine the first two paragraphs and/or the fourth and fifth.
- I always think 'but' is quite a weak discourse marker to use to start a sentence. That may be more my personal preference. The sentence "But as Alex delved deeper into the castle's depths, they soon realized that the true treasure was not gold or jewels, but the stories etched into the very stones themselves" has two "buts" in so one of them would ned to be changed.
- The range of punctuation used is quite weak - you only use commas, full stops and dashes. Exclamation marks, question marks (rhetorical questions), brackets, colons or semi colons should be used to improve this.

I strongly agree , also good ambitious vocab

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