How Nature Impacts a Story


Nature is all around us and whether you write memoir, poetry, or fiction, the environment is bound to creep into your work at some point during your writing career. Representing nature purposefully—whether that’s in an accurate or inaccurate way—can be a powerful addition to any piece of writing.

Writing Exercise: Write a brief scene, character description, a piece of dialogue, a personal memory, or a poem—any piece of writing that is around 100-400 words. Imagine the same scene in three different physical locations in nature, whether it’s by or a on a river, in a forest, a desert, or an ocean. How does the setting relate to the characters, if there are any? How does it affect the tone of your writing when set in different locations?

Now try writing that same scene in a different season. What changes from the summer to the fall in your piece?

Now write the scene during different times of the day.

Reading: Rouen Cathedral series, by Claude Monet. Well, it’s not really reading so much as looking. Familiarize yourself with these pieces of work.

Reading: “Paean to Place,” by Lorine Niedecker


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