Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Writing Tips from an Award-winning Travel Writer Laurie Gough

 It was the eye-catching images and the interesting content that caught my attention--and then the experience-based wisdom that kept me reading. 

From Laurie Gough's webpage bio:
"Lauded by Time magazine as "one of the new generation of intrepid female travel writers," Laurie Gough is author of Kiss the Sunset Pig, and Kite Strings of the Southern Cross, shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and silver medal winner of ForeWord Magazine's Travel Book of the Year in the US. Twenty of her stories have been anthologized in various literary travel books."
On her site's webpage "Passions," she lists "Travel Writing Tips." I think they are useful for all writers to consider and am listing them in a condensed version below. Check out her page for the full story. Actually, just check out her website--the stories, the photos, and the efficient, effective presentation of Laurie Gough's work are all worth studying.

Travel Writing Tips
  1. Focus on interesting, different, and special qualities. "Usually this will be a combination of the place and the people."
  2. Concrete details: "not 'fruit' but 'rotting pomegranates.'"
  3. "Stay true to who you are." Let the readers find out as you go along.
  4. Open your senses to the small things: oil-burning lamps, newly cut timber, cricket chirps . . .
  5. Characterization: "How human beings are acting on this planet never fails to enliven a story."
  6. Find the good, even in the lousy.
  7. Backstory: history, facts, past events.
  8. "Read your work aloud to yourself."
  9. Tone/mood:"take in as much of a place as you can."
The common saying for this is to "capture the place with words." I see little difference if that place is actual or imaginary. It's our job as writers to make it real.

Laurie Gough website: "where the passions of travel and writing meet and walk down the road together."

Copyright 2013 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved.


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