Travels inspired by the Wombles

Friday, 18 November 2011

More travel writing tips passed on

Last time I promised to pass on some more comments made by well-known travel writer Andrew Eames at a book masterclass, so here goes...
  • All types of travel writing have in common a strong sense of place and a central narrator
  • The theme is crucial – it enables you and the reader to find something out
  • You can use backstory at points when there isn’t enough content about aspects of your journey
  • Ups and downs are important – they add interest
  • The five key elements – narrative, people, research, descriptive text, reflection/thoughts/views
  • Can you include some suspense somehow? Try to tease the reader into continuing to read
No doubt much of this is obvious when you think about it (as Einstein is supposed to have said, all good ideas are obvious in retrospect). But it's very useful to get reminded of all this stuff, especially by an established writer.

I found the comment about backstory interesting.  It's always a challenge to include some historical background in a travel narrative, without it coming across as the reading equivalent of cod liver oil.

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