Corbett Gardens – inspiration for character development

Corbett Gardens

In a recent post, I outlined how the opening chapter of novel Five Bells introduced four different characters through their perspectives of the Sydney Opera House.

My Preliminary English Extension class used Corbett Gardens, a local landmark, as a focus for character development and subsequent narrative. One student has kindly given permission for her draft to be published. Please enjoy:


An unfocused view, framed, a happy family, children laughing with uncontained delight dashing through the lush grass, feet thumping an uncoordinated rhythm. Their footfalls setting free a rich earthy scent.

Tap. Click.

 Water bubbles and ripples flowing under a small bridge. Fingers scrape across rough rocks edging the stream, slowly imperceptibly wearing away. A blurred lens shows a young couple, giggling as they relax in the warm sunlight.

Tap … Tap … Click.

 Darkness blocks the light, evident by the cold that creeps into the stagnant foul air. Children shiver and grumble as they are led away by subdues parents. Chills sink into the smooth hard plastic causing flesh to flinch away.

Tap … Tap … Click.

 Bones creak and groan as old, unstable legs rest upon an equally ancient bench. Splinters spiking up; stabbing and sticking into both skin and cloth. Whispers of chilling breath swirling vapidly though soft leaves, leaving a wrinkled face pale and clammy.

Tap … Click.

 Darkness, empty suffocating darkness. Hollow, haunted creaks burble through a sulphur scented fog. Thick, clinging, intoxicating. The shutter closes around a child’s scream. A call for attention. A call of despair …

A stumble, a trip, a graceless descent, a cord coming unwound.

“Excuse me, miss. Is this yours?”

Smooth syllables, casual, light. Accepting.

Rough palms meet, heart returned.

Warmth comes slowly through the shrubbery, birdsong sweeping in on pleasant currents of wind. Wings fluttering, motes of dust, flying through the air in joyful streams. Petals unfold in smooth languid motions to bask in the sun, throwing sweet perfumes into the sky.

“Thank you.”

Tap. Tap.



 image by Alan Furlow Panoramio

2 responses to “Corbett Gardens – inspiration for character development

  1. Pingback: Another creative idea from the Multimodalme site! | daretodiscover2015·

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