An acrostic is an age-old form of visual patterning. It is rather like those Wordsearch puzzles as some people place them in a grid, but the technique can work within creative writing.

Basically, you use the letters of a word to create descriptions, or a line of verse.

C calculating

A animal

T torments

could inspire a rather devious cat in a story or poem, or you may find cuddlier adjectives to create a sweeter kitty.

Or try a name to help you with characters:

D dull

E elephantine

I ignored

D dreary

R reclusive

E eremite

which creates a different picture to

D dynamic

E enthusiastic

I intriguing

D drop-dead gorgeous

R raucous

E entertainer

Names and acrostics can be fruitful in writing to give you a starter for how someone looks or behaves or is perceived by others.

As Thomas Carlyle wrote: Giving a name, indeed, is a poetic act.

Have a go and let us know what you come up with! Maybe start with your own name – find some descriptive words to give clues about your character …