Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Start writing fiction: characters and stories

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.2.6 Familiar words in unfamiliar places

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_fiction_vid_1013.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Where have you noticed ordinary words used in interesting or surprising places?

The sea fog began to lift towards noon. It had been blowing in, thin and loose, for two days, smudging the tops of the trees up the ravine where the house stood.

(Pritchett, V. S., 1980, p. 3)

In this passage, the writer V.S. Pritchett is describing fog in an unfamiliar and unexpected way – but does so using ‘ordinary’ words to create a fresh and imaginative picture.

Try describing something familiar with one or two ordinary words that you wouldn’t normally use in that context.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371