The Student Room Group

English Language Paper 1 Question 5

Hey there, I wrote a question 5, I wrote one previously on a weaker picture, this one is on one I felt more confident at doing. I'd love to get any advice or feedback on it, and if someone could give a rough mark, I'd really appreciate it.

The image was of a person with tumbled down houses around him
The answer is a bit dark and slight warning for graphic content, but nothing too bad, I don't think?

Anyway, here it is -


I am the last person alive this is the only thing I know for sure.

My shoes crunch in the sand as I placidly make my way along the beachfront, acting like I’m no more than a holiday goer, ignoring the houses that have tumbled down like Jenga blocks, and sit uncomfortably like that, each window a soulless and empty eye, dark, showing me nothing of what the interior holds; I don’t need to see inside, I already know.

When I woke up this morning I knew something wasn’t quite right, maybe it was the quality of the air, it had that heavy after-rain feel, the kind that presses in on you and encases you in a damp and sticky feeling like an air grave, or maybe, it was the silence. Having grown up in a city, you get used to beeping car horns, the sharp taps of stiletto heels and the clamouring chatter of people screaming down phones or voicing their unwanted opinions. This morning, there was none of that. Silence as thick and heavy as a velvet cloak had covered the Earth and rendered it unable to scream, it wasn’t even that the noises had been muffled, they had been eradicated entirely. Who knew silence to be so loud? It was the least of the strange things that I was going to behold today.

Cautiously making my way to the window, I ripped apart the curtains, expecting to see the same old view: blocks of flats that look like awkward teenagers, the dingy restaurant that slouches in the corner of the street that has been threatened many a time to be shut down, the flashing lights of the mall some way away, but what I saw was the apocalypse. There is no other way to describe it. Looking like fallen soldiers, the blocks of flats had crashed down and lay wounded on their side, the dingy restaurant had been reduced to matchsticks and the lights of the mall no longer glowed in the distance. Everything was broken. I was looking at a world that had taken a punishment for its sins, I was look at a world that had been brought to its knees, I was looking at a world that had been destroyed, so completely that it was beyond recognition. It felt like some strange alien planet, I didn’t think I belonged there, and I was right.

Pulling on some boots, I picked my way across the internal organs of buildings, ripped out and thrown onto the ground. Whole structures of glass and steel had been reduced to nothing more than shattered marbles and deformed teaspoons on the floor. Many minutes passed as I continued my careful journey across the wasteland of a city, until I reached the only other standing house I could see for miles. Small, sickly-looking and frail, it was a wonder that it was still alive. Once I got to the door, however, it didn’t look particularly wonderful or welcoming. Long, deep lines were etched into the red front door. Scrutinising the lines, I brought my finger up to trace one, and instantly procuring a splinter in the process. It didn’t matter though, my blood matched the colour of the door.

I pushed the door open.

Squealing on its hinges, the door protested against my trespassing, but I was determined, I had to find another form of life preferably human. The hallway bore the marks of chaos and disarray: rust coloured stains pockmarked the floor, delicate China plates lay in minute pieces on said floor and the same long lines were also scratched into the flower wallpaper that covered the interior of the hallway. Looking back, I know that I should have turned around, that I should have walked away, that I should not have ventured onwards. Alas, I didn’t have the knowledge I have now back then, so I foolishly went on to explore each room in the dilapidated little house. It was only when I got to the bedroom that I found what I was looking for a human! Very quickly however, any thought of happiness or joy, any thought of a saviour or friend disappeared. The man whose body lay on the bed in a peaceful slumber had the same long lines etched into his body from torso to neck, and that wasn’t even the worst of it. Delicately perched on the side table like some strange choice of décor, his eyes, his blue, blue eyes sat, his eyeballs in their entirety.

I was horrified, who wouldn’t be? Immediately, I ran out of the house. I ran past the fallen soldiers, I ran past the many bodies that lay like dead flies on the rubble-covered floor, I ran past many more standing houses, each one with a red door, and each one with long lines carved into it like some hand of the devil had clawed it’s way inside. I ran and I ran until I stopped breathless by the sea, and here I still am.

I watch the waves, their natural and constant rhythm the only unchanging thing in this world. Although some houses line the beach front, I am careful to avoid eye contact with them and instead look down at the microscopic grains of sand stuck to my boots, or at the crashing waves of blue, blue water. Sighing, I sit down, the cold, wet sand is reassuring, and frightening at the same time. I’m still alive, but I’m living a nightmare.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Footsteps in the sand.
What I thought to be fact, is in fact, fiction. I am not the only living thing.
Reply 1
Hi,
You definitely have potential to write a good creative writing but here's some tips that I can give from just reading this.

1.

imagery, metaphors and description should give a clearer image of what your trying to say so they shouldn't be thrown in for the sake of having some imagery in there. Sometimes the imagery used is difficult to imagine.

2.

'I was looking at a world that had taken a punishment for its sins, I was look at a world that had been brought to its knees, I was looking at a world that had been destroyed' is a bit over the top to put it frankly. If I was to walk into a building, I wouldn't be thinking that the world has been destroyed. The imagery is not convincing

3.

'Crunch' doesn't need to be repeated three times. Having it once would be more effective.

however, there is lots of good things in here

1.

really good use of punctuation

2.

convincing use of imagery in some places

3.

effective structure ( short sentences work well)

Hope this helps
Reply 2
Original post by scarygirl2
Hi,
You definitely have potential to write a good creative writing but here's some tips that I can give from just reading this.

1.

imagery, metaphors and description should give a clearer image of what your trying to say so they shouldn't be thrown in for the sake of having some imagery in there. Sometimes the imagery used is difficult to imagine.

2.

'I was looking at a world that had taken a punishment for its sins, I was look at a world that had been brought to its knees, I was looking at a world that had been destroyed' is a bit over the top to put it frankly. If I was to walk into a building, I wouldn't be thinking that the world has been destroyed. The imagery is not convincing

3.

'Crunch' doesn't need to be repeated three times. Having it once would be more effective.

however, there is lots of good things in here

1.

really good use of punctuation

2.

convincing use of imagery in some places

3.

effective structure ( short sentences work well)

Hope this helps

thank you so much for the advice! I'll definitely bear those things in mind for my exam, thank you! :biggrin:

Quick Reply