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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise:
Nature Writing (Version 3)

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingwor kshop.org/).

Prepared by: Pam Hauck
Posted on: April 24, 2004
Posted on: May 8, 2005
Revised and posted on: June 17, 2007
Revised and posted on: June 21, 2009
Posted on: July 17, 2011
Posted on: July 31, 2016
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Exercise: In 400 words or less, create a scene in which nature plays an important part. Use descriptive detail and sensory imagery to show us how it affects you or your character.
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Writing about nature's influence on human experience requires sensitive observation of the world around us. We will need to put all of our senses into play to describe that world and to express its influence on us and the characters that we create.

A walk in the woods might lead to a profound insight; watching pigeons pecking on a city windowsill may illuminate an idea; or a starry night with storm clouds gathering can open your character to a new understanding of life or his place in it.

To see more details about nature writing, and some examples to prime your pen, click here.  This site demands an "upbeat" ending for the work it publishes, but in this exercise nature's impact may turn out to be negative as well as positive.
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Exercise: In 400 words or less, create a scene in which nature plays an important part. Use descriptive detail and sensory imagery to show us how it affects you or your character.
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Critiques: Has the writer used description of nature and natural phenomena to expand our understanding of his or his protagonist's life, soul, situation? How has he done this? Has contact with our observation of nature changed the author or his character in any way? Can you "see" what the writer describes? Could this piece, this character, this situation have been written without using nature as a reference? What, if anything, would you have done differently?
 


Web site created by Rhéal Nadeau and the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.