"What" Writing - Umbrella

Beautiful metaphor of people scuttling into the marquee as ants into their colony. You’ve really engaged with the senses there Mayara really great work!

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Silver bullets bombard my sturdy shield, ricocheting off like flying sparks. The relentless thumping of incoming artillery makes me huddle as close into the umbrella as possible, clutching the wet and slippery grip as I pray for truce.

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I really like the consistency of your military based metaphors. I find that sticking with one metaphor domain really lets you build upon the imagery to paint a more and more effective picture.

I’m cowered below thin black fabric, with flimsy broken metal arms. With each gust of wind
It’s protection wanes…no match for a southeast rainstorm. I lose my footing as the wind
blows strongly to the left, then right, and I step in unsteady marshy grass. The mud burps as it
swallows my foot. My ears are desperate for reprieve, with every thud above me, and the unrelenting beating drums surrounding me. I’d run to safety, but my eyes have succumb to the downpour, and all I see is blurred.
I’ll just wait it out, shivering, under a flimsy umbrella.

Good sensory words coming in here, the mud burping, the eyes blurred. We can relate to these things because they are so sensory.

I’d say this doesn’t resonate as much because it is telling us information without anchoring it to a sense.

I ended up printing out the senses with a label maker and sticking them to the top of the screen - so for every prompt, go through the senses are see what associations your mind makes.

Great work keep it up!

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You are really growing. The visual remains strong. Now you have introduced that internal feeling of inequlibrium (losing your footing and being thrown off balance). Those types of sensory images are really strong because if invokes that instability inside of us. You could beef up the tactile sensory, rather than saying the wind blows left then right, what are you feeling that tells you that? Maybe your hair is whipping behind you and then suddenly your scalp tingles as it blinds your vision with the changing winds. Your ears being desperate for reprieve is another great line, then you give us wonderful auditory words to pull us in. Your loss of visibility is also really powerful, not being able to see because it is raining so hard. That kind of thing is really interesting to open up and explore. Really well done.

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thanks for the honest critique. I think one of my biggest obstacles is that I love clarity, so I often feel the pull to clearly sum up what I’m saying, which can certainly work against “show, don’t tell.”
I will work on that, thank you. :slight_smile:

Clouds have weepy eyes on a day like today, a day in May in the Northwest. I grasp the handle of my umbrella, round and thick in my hand like the bottle of wine I plan on consuming this evening. Stepping into my boots, I stroll out to my porch, meandering down the steps, one, two, three, four and begin my walk. My hands work in tandem, sliding up the shaft of the umbrella, waiting to hear the click. The rain dances on the green fabric, tiny dancers pitter pattering while I stomp through every puddle I see. The Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Firs shower, releasing their scent into the world, filling my nostrils as I walk down the rocky path. Salt water is taffy in my mouth as the Olympics stand tall in their place, peering down at me as I navigate this beach walk. The path is wet, but I am dry. My umbrella creates a shield and takes in the daily dose of water. A rare sight for a Seattleite to be holding an umbrella, but nonetheless, here we are.


This is really good! the handle being like a bottle of wine for later, the dancing rain drops and the scent of the trees being released from the rain. Some very lovely sensory stuff throughout.

My only critique would be (and we all go through this) is the Telling of things like this

like how do your boots feel on your feet? are they wet or a little to tight or loose? Or maybe your steps creak as you walk down each one, like an introduction to the soundtrack of your walk.

long story short, show me what your boots or porch or steps are. To know that there is 4 steps is alright but it doesn’t pull me in.

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Thanks for all the great feedback y’all! I appreciate it!

Well done on getting all five of the senses in there - that deserves a special mention! The smell of the Douglas firs in the rain on the rocky path really brings it to life for me. Great critique from @Tofu4 in picking out the weaker line, but generally great stuff in here well done!

The battered trunk lying in the depths of the wardrobe was shedding its pale green colour, trapped musty air rushed to take its last breath as I forcibly opened the jammed box, revealing the treasures of my grandfather. One of which was this black umbrella, it’s once brown glossy handle, now riddled with scratches, the proud shaft that carried the weight of my grandfather is crooked. He would always carry it with him, clanking the metal edge to the ground as he strutted through the neighbourhood.

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Hey this is great! a very different perspective from just using the umbrella when it’s raining and instead having it be a meaningful family heirloom. the musty air rushing for its last breath gives life to the battered old trunk. good job!

Hey there Homesh! Some nice stuff in here. The fading colour of the trunk is a very visceral, sensory-based description. As I read the writing on this site, as well as my own, I often find myself thinking “what can I get rid of to make this tighter”. Little bits like “one of which was”, which is telling us something, can probably go, you could just start that sentence with “a black umbrella” and it will pack more of a punch. But overall great work and as @Tofu4 says the air rushing in is particularly strong!

Translucent blurs streak downward as the clouds weep. I wield my arching shield, defending myself from the onslaught. I fumble, juggling around the barriers to the outside world as I search a small ashen cloth from my cavernous pocket. Autofocus fails momentarily as I polish smooth, damp glass. Sharp lines soften as if tears on ink and the world disagrees on plurality, coalescing into a smooth chaotic mess. Petrichor flows into the vacuum, filling what was lost, seeping into me. I shut out the world and invite it in. My chest rises as I welcome it; my palate cooling as I accept it.


This is a very sharp and concise piece of writing, every word is serving a purpose, and filled with sensory detail. The wiping of the glasses especially, which transports us directly into your point of view of this scene, and is a really clever device to let us feel the colour rushing into the vacuum - excellent!

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This is a beautiful read! The way you describe cleaning the water off glasses (if I’m interpreting that correctly) is awesome and is a great example of explaining a simple act without revealing what you actually mean.

I feel the wind first, it makes my hairs dance and brings sweet, pungent ozone to my nose and humidity into my lungs. The beginning of rain is next, but so light that I don’t feel any droplets fall. Condensation begins to form on my hair and jacket, so I push the button on my umbrella and feel the protective extension burst forth. The sky and surroundings darken as the I hear a muffled cacophony atop the new upward growth of my hand. As wind picks up, I splash into a shallow puddle while trying to adjust to my center of gravity being pulled to and fro. Streetlights glitter off of the reflections from the ground, guiding me back to the warm comfort of the hearth at home.


As an aside, feel free to introduce yourself here.

The first sentence is dripping with imagery. You have tactile, olfactory, taste, and internal physical all in one sentence. That is a good springboard to allow you to explore those senses more deeply. The umbrella bursting forth is good wording and gives us a muscle response feeling of gripping it tightly and opposing the forceful extension. The darkening of the sky is a nice visual that shows time passing. As far as the shallow puddle, that offers you more sound and tactile opportunities. You could explore feeling the water in your shoes or the sound of the splash, and make them unwelcome. The streetlight reflections as breadcrumbs leading you home is a nice touch. Well done.

Some lovely writing! You are getting the hang of engaging the senses.

This is one example, however, where I would say you are more telling us information rather than showing. What does that condensation look and feel like? The same with pressing the button, is there a way to capture that sensation?