A storm raged outside ; there was no one at the beach and nothing in sight from the window of the old wooden cottage. The waves rose up like warriors and slammed down against the shore. The rain marched across the roof and smashed on the dirty windows. The wind whipped at the defenseless cottage. The stairs held strong against the terrorizing storm.
Notes: Jack spent some of the summer in a lakeside cottage in Michigan USA, and he has been reading Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. We generated a plan for his writing using the 9 Box method, rather than the confusing and all but useless spider diagram, and as he wrote we looked at the opening sentence of his reading book and discussed how it sounded and how it worked:
“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”
We also took a quick peek at Patrolling Barnegat by Walt Whitman.
Suspense and tension can be generated by creating problems for the reader to solve and by building up effects such as metaphor. Jack’s opening paragraph achieves everything he set out to do.