Storm Boy is a story where the environment is as important as the characters and a vital part of events. The six main characters—three humans and three pelicans—live a remote beach life, happily away from the rest of society. But it’s a wild place, and a life that wouldn’t suit many. 

Colin Thiele weaves descriptions of Storm Boy’s world throughout the story, starting with this passage which begins the book.

Take a look.

Storm Boy lived between the Coorong and the sea. His home was the long, long snout of sandhill and scrub that curves away south-eastwards from the Murray mouth. A wild strip it is, windswept and tussocky, with the flat shallow water of the South Australian Coorong on one side and the endless slam of the Southern Ocean on the other. They call it the Ninety Mile Beach. From thousands of miles round the cold, wet underbelly of the world the waves come sweeping in towards the shore and pitch down in a terrible ruin of white water and spray. All day and all night they tumble and thunder. And when the wind rises it whips the sand up the beach and the white spray darts and writhes in the air like snakes of salt.

Storm Boy(1963)

In this lesson, you’ll be describing your own location using the same structure and techniques as this passage.

From what you’ve read, what are some key words you can use to describe Storm Boy’s world? You can use words from the passage or your own.

You need to come up with a place, real or imagined, that’s someone’s home.

  • What do you want your readers to feel? That it’s a wild and beautiful place (like Storm Boy’s)? A happy, peaceful place? Somewhere dark and dangerous if you don’t know your way around?  
  • Where is it located? Think big, descriptive, and environmental, like the passage above.
  • What are some of the features of the world around it?
  • What’s it called?
  • What sort of large environmental forces (weather, pollution, wildlife, people) happen in this place? How does that affect it?

Let's begin!