Wild Writing

I have provided some do’s and don’ts which should help if embarking on a fruitful symbiotic relationship with the natural world.
Do
Get involved and observe as much as you can. Observation is pivotal to writing after all it’s your information that you need to get across to the reader.
Write what you feel, don’t introduce belligerent words that will only confuse the reader, let a loose and natural tone of voice help to shape your narrative.
Know your subject. It’s vital to research your subject before you write about it.
Know your surroundings. Again primary research here is just as important. Even personal safety.
Keep safe and always tell people where you are going.
Read, read, read, and write, write, write!

Don’t
Seem interested: Don’t act half-heartedly. You have to love nature and want to write about nature.
Separate from your writing. Make sure the reader experiences what you are aiming to tell; make them feel they were there, but don’t be extremely didactic. Try your prose on friends, family and valued critics.
Critique is always constructive. Don’t disagree outright with critiques. Learn from them.
Don’t make animals human. Give them their own voice but within context, don’t characterise them like George Orwell’s, Napoleon.
Worry about what others think. Find your own voice, style and place.

Think about
Mixing photography with your writing. You don’t have to be a pro to convey your subject. This also aids in helping you describe your setting or subject from the comfort of your chair.
Getting into the thickness. Spend as much time as you can with your topic before racing into narrative.
Submit your work to magazine and publishers. The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2011 is a great help. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writers-Artists-Yearbook-2011-Black/dp/1408124939
Starting a blog or website to promote your work.

Useful links and further reading:
http://caughtbytheriver.net/a-nature-book-reader
Anna Mills on nature writing: http://onnaturewriting.blogspot.com/
Nature-writing award 2010: The results http://www.discoverwildlife.com/competition-article/nature-writer-year-2010-results
Henry Thoreau as a  Model for Nature Writing by Ron Harton http://thoreau.eserver.org/harton.html

Call of the Wild by Robert Macfarlane http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/dec/06/featuresreviews.guardianreview34
Granta 102: The New Nature Writing http://www.granta.com/Magazine/102
The future of nature writing http://www.profwriting.com/articles/future-nature-writing

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