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Coastline creative writing

Best Descriptive Writing Sites Describing the beauty of nature

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.

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………………

Creative Writing on the Coast at Porthleven

There are certainly worse ways to spend a Tuesday than sat in the sun in Cornwall with a notepad and a few fellow creatives.

This week, the lovely Sarah from The Salty Sea Blog hosted a creative writing workshop at The Ship Inn at Porthleven. If you have a read of her blog, you’ll instantly see why I was keen to go! She’s an amazing writer (and photographer, of course).

This workshop was small and intimate, and part of her ‘The Ocean Project’ which (from what I understand) will involve many more future meetups and workshops focused around being connected to Cornwall, sharing ideas and letting loose with our creativity!

The theme of the afternoon was ‘place’; using our environment and the landscape to inspire our writing. And I can’t think of a better situation than this quaint Cornish harbour town with incredible views of the Atlantic. The ultimate inspiration.

Luck was upon us, and it happened to be a bright and beautiful day here in Cornwall. As one of our activities, we took some time to wander around the harbour making notes about our surroundings and generally stopping to enjoy the moment.

This in itself was a bit of a revelation to me… I realised I rarely ever (/never?) take the time to take in and notice all the scents, sounds and sights around me.

I suppose it was hard not to that day. I mean look at the colour of that water!

We talked a lot about seasons as well, and I definitely left Porthleven feeling a sense of excitement about Summer. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Helston/Helford River/The Lizard areas of Cornwall before, and (now discovering that it’s really not that far to drive from my house), I’m really looking forward to exploring these places in the good weather.

Cornwall is full of inspirational places just like this, and it feels amazing to know that it is infinitely explore-able and that I’ll probably never stop discovering new and wonderful places!

Minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing

The Minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing will offer students the opportunity to develop writing skills that explore, explain, and advocate for the environment.


Current students are understandably more focused on environmental issues than previous generations are. At a time when climate issues are pressing, this minor offers an opportunity for students to study the work of essential writers and artists while developing their own voices and adding to the greater conversation about the environment and our coastline. Students in the creative writing major and journalism minor have expressed interest in the new minor. Faculty in the sciences and the arts have spearheaded the formulation of the minor.

Broad Educational Objectives

The minor has two broad educational objectives:

  1. To offer courses in environmental writing to students in all disciplines.
  2. To educate students on environmental and coastal issues through the study of science and literature.

Program Evaluation and Quality Enhancement

Coordination for the minor: Department of Creative Writing. The minor would be added to the department’s annual assessment process.

Applied-Learning Component

Students will perform a community-based internship* that culminates in a writing project that will benefit the internship agency. Examples of possible projects are writing grant proposals, training manuals, newsletters, or feasibility reports, designing websites and writing web content, and producing service videos for the agency. Students must submit a project proposal in consultation with an instructor.

As part of the internship, students will conceptualize and complete a writing project, which could be investigative journalism, fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. Students would submit a proposal that includes an outline of the proposed project, a goals statement, deadlines, and a reading/critique component of at least one book (or several shorter works) within the same genre. Students would work in consultation with an instructor.

*Students may complete the internship in their major department, providing that department has agency agreements with organizations whose missions would enhance student needs in the minor. This internship would not double-count as the required internship for the 21-hour Certificate in Professional Writing.

Target Audience

Young writers who are concerned about the environment, along with non-writing majors, including those in the sciences, who hope to express themselves to a larger audience.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who pursue a minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing will learn to:

  • SLO 1. Demonstrate knowledge of critical coastal and environmental issues and communicate those stories to general and specialized audiences in compelling ways.
  • SLO 2. Compose and critically evaluate diverse forms of journalism, advocacy, legal, and strategic writing relevant to coastal communities and environmental issues.
  • SLO 3. Use and hone the research, interviewing, writing, and oral-presentation skills that are emphasized through the coursework, drawing from individuals, locations and organizations in the Cape Fear region and along the Carolina coast. Research and reporting at these sites strengthens the university’s ties with the community (regional engagement), while also requiring students to draw from their educational experiences to accomplish specific workplace-related tasks (applied learning).

Catalogue Description and Course Listing

The interdisciplinary minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing provides students the opportunity to develop skills in environmental writing that is informed by the study of relevant science and literature. The curriculum is designed to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of this writing specialty through coursework from several departments, allowing students to master the fundamentals by using traditional classroom courses and applied learning. 21 credit hours: 15 hours in core courses, including 3 hours of internship; and 6 hours in electives from two broad areas of study. At least 3 of the 6 elective hours must be taken in courses at the 300–400 level. (Highlighted section revised at the direction of University Curriculum Committee, April 3, 2020.)

Requirements for the Minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing:

21 hours—15 hours in core courses, 6 hours in electives

Core Requirements:

  • CRW 204: Research for Creative Writers
  • ENG 202: Introduction to Journalism
  • EVS 195: Introduction to Environmental Sciences
    or EVS 205: Global Environmental Issues
  • OCN 250: Coasts and Society
  • CRW 498: Internship

Core hours: 15

Electives: 6 hours in Arts and Humanities/Social Sciences or Natural Sciences
(Courses eligible for the minor will be specified in the 2020-21 undergraduate catalogue.)

Additional Information:

A grade of ‘C-’ or better is required in each course counted toward the minor, and a grade point average of ‘C’ (2.00) or better for all courses counted toward the minor.