DESCRIBING THE SEASIDE
If you are having trouble describing the seaside, this is the post to read. It comes in five levels, from Basic English to Complex English. I am uploading Levels 1, 3 and 5.
The biggest mistake writers make is to describe the sea from the narrator out. What I mean by this is that most people try to describe a scene from what their eyes or imagination focus in on first. That is usually the beach, the waves and what is on the sea.
It’s only a suggestion but I find it easier to describe the sea/sky from its furthest point out first. In this case, that would be the dome of sky, what is in the sky (clouds, birds etc.) and the horizon. Then I gradually bring the detail closer and closer until I can describe what emotions I am feeling inside (joy, contentment etc.).
Think of it as an artist thinks of a painting. An artist will fill in the background first before attempting the smaller details. Point of View (POV) is very important for a writer. Give the broad sweep before attempting the difficult task of filling in the micro elements of a scene. Then you are looking at the world with an ‘artist’s eye’ and you will be a successful descriptive writer.
If you want more advice on this, check out my new book and workbook by clicking the link here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/280-6899154-7038727?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=descriptive+writing.
Following this formula will ensure a well written paragraph or essay. Once this is mastered you can vary the narrative style any way you wish. Remember not to neglect the ‘other’ three senses of taste, smell and sensation also. Sound and colour will only get you so far in an exercise like this.
Colour of the sea: The sea was jewel-blue.
The sky: The sky was like a curtain of silk.
In the sky: Tufty clouds of wizard-white drifted past.
The horizon: The horizon was a line of nickel-silver.
Sea sounds: The sea song of the waves soothed me.
Metaphors: The heap of sea swelled silently.
Motion: The waves were rippling gently.
On the sea: Clumps of seaweed got washed up on the beach.
The beach: The beach was shaped like a shepherd’s hook of gold.
Waves: Rollers of gem-blue dashed the sand.
Salt smell: The air was pregnant with the smell of salt.
Taste: We ate some yummy hot dogs.
Sensations: It was a heart-warming experience.
The sea was like a rippling blanket of brochure-blue. Squabbling seagulls flew overhead, harassing the beachgoers in their endless hunger. Gannets were dive-bombing the stretched surface of the sea far out from shore. The horizon was edged with a silver tint and a cormorant was flying into that place where sun and water meet. His wings were a blur of motion and he soon faded from sight.
The opera of the sea washed over me and the wave-music was welcome. It was soothing and I was glad to get away from the hurly-burly and stresses of life. Davy Jones’s locker had swallowed up many a man over the centuries, but the beach I walked on was an enchanting paradise. It was half-moon shaped and there were no heaving waves to be seen, merely wave-grooves in the sand. I shaded my eyes from the glowing daystar and looked out to sea again. I could see dolphins flipping into the air like crackling popcorn. Their bodies flashed in steel-grey and I could almost touch their glee. It was a skin-tingling experience to witness their sea-dance.
The briny air carried a different smell also-spicy chicken. My stomach rumbled when I heard it sizzling on the barbecue. I bought a few wings and it was like tasting Greek fire with all the spices and sauces on it. I swore I would come back to this spellbinding place again someday. I looked behind for the last time and already my footprints were fading as if I had never been………….
Is there anything quite as blissful as an amble by the seashore? It’s like walking through an airy womb of sky and sound. The sea is a cerulean-blue gown and the beach seems dipped in earthshine-gold.
The mermaid’s call of the waves reaches out to you and you have to resist its siren call to enter the copper-bottomed depths. Titan’s fiery wheel seems to be buckled to the immensity of sky and the panorama of sights can overwhelm the other senses. When you cast your eyes out to sea, you observe that the horizon is hemmed in sardine-silver. The waves in the distance are like white creases on a vast bale of velvet and the lolling of the yachts is both rhythmic and mesmerising.
The pulsing heart of the sea causes a gentle swell and the waves cascading onto the shore have that ancient alchemy of purr-and-pound. When they uncoil, it is like an old, vellum parchment is unrolling in front of your eyes. If you could read the script, it would probably say just two words a hundred, hundred thousand times; never leave. Your eyes are drawn to the dot in the sky getting nearer. It is a gannet, plump from poaching fish from the larder of the sea. He is coming into frame and as he passes overhead, he leaves out a call that echoes the alien emptiness of this place. This is Poseidon’s realm, he seems to say, and you should not be here.
You look around and you admire the feng shui perfection of the beach. The palm trees are lined in serried rows and dip their heads in obedience to the sea. They have an Eden-green beauty that cannot be rivalled were you to travel to the far side of the world. Underneath them, a springy undergrowth of lush-green seems to beckon you in to the rainforest. You will let its sleeping soul rest today, however. You are here to savour the sea’s indefinable beauty and let its vastness seep into your mind. With luck, you will carry fragments of it home as memory.
The yachts lolling in the distance rock cradle-like and again you get the feeling that the sea wants to lull you. You know that the same picture-perfect scene you are devouring with your eyes has been a salty coffin for many an unwary mariner. The fool-strewn sea floor is not to be underestimated, however sensuous it may seem above the surface. The glassy air carries a faintly delicious perfume with it also. It is as if a vial is being slowly uncorked, revealing a galaxy of otherworldly scents. Your nostrils are tantalised by its richness. It is neither the pelagic smell of the salty waves nor the earthy cologne of the vegetation that you smell. It is much more immediate, much more familiar that that.
Suddenly, you have a light bulb moment. You are disappointed at first. You realise your cyan-blue paradise hosts other guests today. You are not alone. Then a mist of food scents drift towards you and you are glad. The illegally-good carnival of toothsome aromas makes your stomach sound like bottled thunder. You can detect flame-grilled tuna, exotic peppers and zingy onions. You realise you are famished and guide your nose towards the barbecue. Soon, you can hear people laughing. You take one last look at this utopia and absorb the jaw-dropping scenery with your eyes. Then you turn on your heel and make your way to where the cannibals are waiting for you………………
Check out my new book and workbook by clicking the title here http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/280-6899154-7038727?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=descriptive+writing.
Describing a calm sea: 25 descriptive sentences using onomatopoeia and 5 paragraphs
Describing a calm sea: this post is taken from the ultimate descriptive book ‘Writing with Stardust’ by Liam O’ Flynn, now available on Amazon. I hope it provides the information you require or, at the very least, the inspiration to create your own sentences. I have also included Levels 1-5 taken from the book if you wish to describe the beach with the 5 senses.
If you wish for any more information on ‘Writing with Stardust’, or any of Liam’s other books, just click on the book images below. They will take you into the Amazon bookstore. I hope you enjoy the post.
DESCRIBING A CALM SEA
A dreamy sea has a rhythmic pulse to it unmatched by any other part of nature. It forges its own sounds and kindles its own symphony. The following 25 sentences are an attempt to capture the song of the sea and its steady, throbbing heartbeat. If you find yourself visualising its glorious vastness, its dreamy surface and straining to hear its metronomic wave music, you may understand why it’s called the fisherman’s friend.
- The sea was buzzing with its dormant strength.
- The waves were crawling gently to the shore.
- The waves were creeping steadily towards us.
- The dreamy sea was its own master.
- The waves were gently drenching the sand.
- The sea softly doused the beach.
- The waves were carelessly dribbling onto the sand.
- The ebbing tide was harmonious.
- The sea was vaporously exhaling its mist.
- The flowing of the tide was languorous.
- The ocean was forging its own sea-song.
- The gasping waves were waiting for full tide.
- The groaning sea was riparian-blue.
- The gurgling waves were metronomic.
- The gushing waves were comforting.
- The humming of the wave-song beguiled me.
- The sea was kindling its own symphony.
- The lapping waves entranced us.
- The murmuring of the waves was hypnotic.
- The waves were oozing onto the beach.
- The palpitating pulse of the sea was steady and peaceful.
- The plinking of the wave-music was enthralling.
- The pulsing sea was acetylene-blue.
- The quivering sea was hoarding its mighty power.
- The quavering sea harnessed its majesty.
THE BEACH:LEVEL 1: BASIC SENTENCES
- The beach was flax-gold. COLOUR
- We heard the snoozy sea lap gently. SOUND
- We walked on a bow of beach. SHAPE
- Cylinders of light moved across the sea. METAPHORS
- The other tourists were leather-brown. TANS
- The neon-blue sky was threaded with silver. KNITTING TERMS FOR THE SKY
- Children were squealing on the beach. OTHER IMAGES
- The sun toasted our skin. SENSATION
- The sea air smelled of chlorine. SMELL
- The spicy sauces in the burger burned our tongues. TASTE
LEVEL 2: A BASIC PARAGRAPH
The beach we walked on was moon glow-gold. The sea looked dozy as it rested in the afternoon glow. We were walking on a horseshoe of beach. Towers of radiant light soaked the sea with their beauty. The holiday makers we saw all had coconut-brownfaces. Clown-hatted donkeys were braying loudly as children pulled their tails. The burning sunroasted us like nuts in an oven. The sea sky seemed threaded with silver. A warm, tangy odour came from the sea as we walked towards a hot dog stand. The sulfurous mustard burned us nearly as much as the sun.
LEVEL 3: CREATIVE PARAGRAPHS
It’s not often you get to see a sunrise-gold beach. That was our privilege as we gazed out at the slothful sea. Ebbing ever so gently, it looked at peace in its jade-green gown. It felt like we were walking on a carpet of candy floss, such was its softness. The golden sand swept around in a scythe of beach, hemmed in by towering dunes. Far out to sea, rivers of pulsing light saturated the sea with gold. Only the occasional tourist walked past us. There was an absence of sun-blasted bodies in this Babylon of beaches.
The horizon seemed to be stitched with a silver line. The seagulls were squawking over our heads and squabbling for morsels from the hotel kitchen. As the sun scorched our bodies to a crisp, a funfair of barbecued aromas drifted towards us. The saline tang of the sea mingled with the cuisine, adding salt to its appeal. We decided to obey our rumbling stomachs and eat. Lobster on a bed of watercress was our fare that afternoon. It tasted tender and briny and the shell food sauce had a hint of bouquet to it.
LEVEL 4: ADVANCED PARAGRAPHS
We stood on the cliff. By chance, we had found the Mecca of coves. We could see a fracture of white sand, a gash of zephyr-haunted cliffs and a wide slash of bay. It was a watery wonderland and the beach was drenched in a lightning-gold, dawn haze. The mighty heap of sea flowed in its astral-blue smoothness from the horizon in. The horizon itself was a thin seam where the canopy of sky and the plane of sea hemmed each other into a line of silver. It was as if they had been welded into an extended splinter of perfection. In the distance, streamers of tapered light splayed out, flowing through cracks in the cloud. We decided to clamber down to the beach.
Slumbering in its blue robe, the sea greeted us and the half-moon of beach softly. The sand was floury underfoot and a feathery, sugar-white of hue. A single yacht bobbed and lolled in the incoming tide, like a toy in a bath. Its lights winked saucily as the wave-crests rose gently. Looking around the secluded beach, we didn’t see any of the normal sights; tourists with Day-Glo tans, tacky stands or chattering hawkers. We realised that we were standing in the gateway of paradise. The siren call of the sea was soothing, the wave music welcome. It was like being wrapped in comforting cellophanes of warm sounds and soft light.
Our serenity was ruptured by the raucous cry of a gull. The rocky hollowness of the cliffs made it seem mournful and cavern loud. It echoed at first with a mournful sound, recoiling from the cliff-rock. It rebounded and its vibration was resonating in the spacious air. The bouncing and distortion of sound rang it out once more. Then it foundered and finally faded away into nothingness.
Our serenity had been interrupted. We decided to make our way home. The rising sun laminated us with its warmth and a theatre of pelagic smells wafted from the steaming seaweed. It took the edge off our hunger and we decided not to eat.
Our footprints in the sand followed us all the way home. Heavens hideaway had been a transcendental experience and we resolved to do it again someday.
LEVEL 5: COMPLEX WRITING: SEA MUSIC
The cliff we stood on seemed as old as Abraham. Far below, the hungry sea gnawed at its ankle.
Someone once said that paradise is where seagulls are flying beneath your feet. They were arcing and wheeling between the witchcraft of the morning light. An occasional scream would echo from the cliffs, eerie and resonating. The immense vista leading to the horizon was jaw dropping. The Prussian-blue vault of velvet above seemed to solder into the liquid blanket of silver beneath. Far out to sea, a solitary cormorant, sleek wings a-flurry, streaked out to the place where sea and sky melt into each other and was lost from sight.
The slurpy slapping of the sea was muted, a metronomic murmur. The waves were merely snoozing, sluggish and slumbering in their liquid robes. They dribbled up to the beach of the sheltered cove, then shuddered and drizzled their sea spray onto its surface, whisking the stones before releasing. A current of cold electricity passed through the air. We shivered. The wind whipped up. The sea simmered.
Sloshing, swollen to its confined depths, its cavernous bowels stirred, a growling from the fathoms. Suddenly, stone dashed sand teemed as the sea hissed, washed, polished, and lashed the pebbles before sloshing back. It hissed, slipped, dashed the sand and released; fizzed, spit, seethed the beach and released: sizzed, slapped, swished the stones and released.
The mesmeric beauty of its beat was heart-swelling. We realized then that the sea was its own master, kindling its own symphony. It hadn’t finished its song yet, however. The wind, the midwife of the seas, served a different master and whipped it into a frenzy.
The echo of a raspy rumbling from the enraged sea came to us, a tremulousness to fear. The waves were really sloshing, slurping and slobbering with their salty lips. They pounded into the cliff of the sheltered cove, then paused and pounced with malice onto its ankle, slamming the rock before releasing. A rumour of its malevolence passed through our legs. We shivered. The wind died down. The sea bubbled. Trembling, throbbing to its rotten beat, its malicious soul stirred, a warning from the ages. Suddenly, rip-tide rolls heaved as the sea foamed, crashed, pounded and bashed the cliff-foot before sloshing back. It foamed and frothed, plunged down hard and pummelled the hated cliffs; it lathered and lacerated, bucked waves and buckled itself; it smacked and smashed, surging waves and expunging its awful rage.
Its hissy fit over, it swelled once more, juddered and was still.
I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading it. Liam.