Observing and describing in Storm Boy 3: Describing a crowd

Describing a crowd


Okay. This lesson is a little unusual.

As you probably know, this course is about writing observations and descriptions, and this lesson is about describing a crowd. Because of this (and if you haven’t done the other lessons in the course), you might be thinking that the example describes a crowd of humans.

But this is Storm Boy we’re talking about.


And so the water and the shores rippled and flapped with wings. In the early morning the tall birds stood up and clapped and cheered the rising sun. Everywhere there was the sound of bathing—a happy splashing and sousing and swishing. It sounded as if the water had been turned into a bathroom five miles long, with thousands of busy fellows gargling and gurgling and blowing bubbles together. Some were above the water, some were on it, and some were under it; a few were half on it and half under. Some were just diving into it and some just climbing out of it. Some who wanted to fly were starting to take off, running across the water with big flat feet, flapping their wings furiously, and pedalling with all their might. Some were coming in to land, with their wings braking hard and their big webbed feet splayed out ready to ski over the water as soon as they landed.
Everywhere there were crisscrossing wakes of ripples and waves and splashes. Storm Boy felt the excitement and wonder of it; he often sat on the shore all day with his knees up and his chin cupped in his hands. Sometimes he wished he’d been born an ibis or a pelican.

Storm BoyColin ThieleSource

A crowd of birds! Cool, huh?

But think about it: a few changes here and there and this could be used to describe a crowd of people, or insects, or… almost anything, really.

In case you’re new to this course

In this lesson, you’ll be describing a crowd using the same structure and techniques as this passage. It can be related to the characters and environment you’ve written about previously but it doesn’t have to be (especially if you didn’t do those lessons, obviously).

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