White Cross School Blog


NC Literary Hall of Fame




Are There Too Many Trees in My Story? How to Harness the Foces of Nature in your Narratives
05.11.2014 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


When Norman Maclean first attempted to publish the story collection that contains his now-famous novella, A River Runs Through It, one publisher sent his manuscript back with a rejection note that referred to the passages about nature in his writing as “a literary handicap.” The note read, “These stories have trees in them!” Thankfully, this literary gem of a book has been in publication for over a quarter of a century, and readers recognize that Maclean’s descriptions of nature are fundamental to all aspects of his story telling. In this workshop we will discuss ways that Maclean and a few other writers use natural landscapes to form characters, to create rhythm and structure, and to communicate themes in their writing. You don’t need to be an expert in the natural sciences to enjoy and benefit from this workshop. We will practice writing exercises designed to help you hone your observations of nature as it relates to you, and to help you to use the forces of nature as more than just backdrop to your stories.


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