Prompt was to describe a place.
I think I did a good job with that. I tried not to use too many "I" but that proved to be a bit difficult. I'm trying to get rid of all the vague sentence starters that my teacher informed me about.
1) Is my thesis statement ok?
2) Is my conclusion alright?
Critique as always, please.
The Scary House
As I stood, gazing at the dilapidated house. I shivered, as though, ice had replaced my spine. The cold air enveloped the entire body. The multiple layer of clothing could not protect against the deathly cold. The walkway leading up to house were cracked. Weeds and dandelions poked out from these cracks. Red roses grown wildly in thick batches by the gate. The moonlight cast a ghoulish glow on the house. Vines formed a twisted maze upon the side of house, reaching their tentacles towards the roof. The house's walls showed black decay by neglect. Splotches of original paint hinted at the house former prosperity. Cobwebs covered the corners of the doors, tiny black spiders threading towards their prey. The house is fit for the kings and queens of the supernatural.
The door begrudgingly creaked open. A musty, dank order creep into my nose. The house was dead silence except for the intermittent creaks and moans. Black and brown mold dotted the ceiling in clusters, evident of rain seeping through the roof. I quietly entered the dark living room. Windows covered with grime and dirt, the calm moonlight struggled to penetrate the darkness in thin thread rays. Sharp shadows roamed around the room. The sofa and chairs overturned revealing deep grooves on the ground where they used to sit. Wallpaper lay curled on the floor. A large jagged hole dug through the wall stood as though daring any to enter. Picture frames hanged off-centered. Sharp shadows roamed around the room. A misplaced grand bookcase stood the corner of the room, undisturbed for a long time. Selecting the correct book could reveal a secret doorway into a labyrinth.
I made my way back into the hallway, a slimmer of light came from behind a door. I approached and opened the door. I had reached the bathroom. The single window was mildly dirty, a flood of light flowed into the room. Dust swirled around the room as I made my way inside. The medicine cabinet mirror lay shattered in pieces on the floor tile. Empty medicine bottle lay in the porcelain sink. The only sound to be heard is the drip, drip of the faucet. A closer look revealed the discoloration of the water, a brownish concoction. A lone mouse stood sentry at the bottom of the tub. Never having a visitor in a while, it curiously eyed me before scuttling away. Approaching the bathtub, a violent odor made it way to my nose. Pinching my nose, I leaned over and peered inside. Crusty rags filled the bathtub, little hints of movement underneath them. It would be unadvisable to see what is under the rags.
I arrived at the foot of the staircase. I stood and peered at the top, wondering when a twisted head person will crawl down and have me for dinner. I summoned strength and tiptoed my way up the stairs. Each step intensified the moaning and creaking as if the steps could collapse at any moment. I turned to the right, and met my final destination. The door did not give way easier, a forceful push was needed. Stepping inside, a dresser seem to have been pushed against the door, attempting to deny anyone entry. I could make out the silhouette of bed, edging in closer for a better look. A toy dinosaur lay missing its head on the bed. The sheet was splattered with a dark color. The wind intensified outside, the rustling of the leaves and branches were louder. In the corner, a little chair began to rock slowly. The room had once belonged to a boy. The thin strips of wallpaper showed little trucks. Crayon markings scrambled upon the wall where wallpaper used to stick. The carpet squished as I walked. Little picture frames remained facedown on the carpet.
A howl echoed throughout the house. It was time to leave, I told myself. I closed the bedroom door behind as I carefully walked down the stairs. I hoped I did not disturb anything or its somber rest. I made my way outside where my group of friends was standing. They asked me what took me so long; I replied that escaping the ghosts was difficult.
I heard the sound of a stick and a shambling step on the flags in the passage outside, and the door creaked on its hinges as a second old man entered, more bent, more wrinkled, more aged even than the first. He supported himself by a single crutch, his eyes were covered by a shade, and his lower lip, half averted, hung pale and pink from his decaying yellow teeth. He made straight for an arm-chair on the opposite side of the table, sat down clumsily, and began to cough. The man with the withered arm gave this new-comer a short glance of positive dislike; the old woman took no notice of his arrival, but remained with her eyes fixed steadily on the fire.
The Red Room by HG Wells
First, it helps to 'CAP' it:
Context - This is a piece of highly descriptive writing taken from the genre of a ghost story, designed to be entertaining. It has a style we call gothic so is expected to be quite dark in its style. It was first published in 1896 so some of the language will be different from what we use today.
Audience - The original readers will have been educated adults who enjoy reading ghost stories for entertainment.
Purpose - The purpose is mainly to entertain. As with all serious literature, the writer might also have the purpose of exploring certain themes that might even promote a particular moral viewpoint. As it is gothic in style, it will probably aim to scare us too.
Below, you can see some of the writing techniques which have been used in the extract.
Even though this piece doesn’t use metaphors and similes, it certainly uses lots of the other features and, later in the story, Wells does use both of these language techniques.
We can also check this for style by asking the following questions:
Is the writing formal or informal?
The writing is formal and it is written in Standard English.
Is the voice of the narrator in first, second or third person?
The story is told to the reader by a first-person narrator.
What is the vocabulary like?
The vocabulary is detailed and uses many descriptive words chosen deliberately for effect so that they create connotations that help the Gothic ghost story effect. For example, with 'decaying yellow teeth'. The descriptive writing is well chosen to appeal to the senses with phrases like 'I heard' and the narrator describes in detail what he can see, including commenting on other people’s reactions in ways that also helps build up a ghost story atmosphere.
What are the sentences like?
The writer uses a mixture of sentence types and lengths. These include compound and complex sentences that are full of information and detail; the variety of punctuation allows the reader to absorb the detail more easily.
What does this tell us about this example of descriptive writing?
It is formal and written in Standard English.
The style uses a first person narrator and is quite formal, and not conversational or chatty.