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07 Dec Last seen … finding a voice

Last week I talked about how useful it is know your audience and hone your voice for a specific publication. Travel articles are often seen as easy but they’re surprisingly difficult to write. You need to balance practical information, anecdotes and a few facts and figures,...

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02 Dec Last seen … exploring genius

Love her or hate her, everyone has an opinion on Elizabeth Gilbert. Without doubt, at every workshop I run, participants are divided over her best-selling travel memoir Eat Pray Love. Some switch off at her soul-baring, others are switched on. But just where did she...

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30 Dec How to keep in your story

In fiction, a writer creates an entire world. Even though travel writing is about true stories and true journeys, you still need to create a world. You do this by: Keep returning to your narrative thread. If you take a detour, ensure there is a signpost back...

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27 Dec Setting Goals

Whether you’re starting out or you’re a seasoned writer, it really helps to set yourself goals and review them regularly. We’ll look at how you can do this with your writing, but you can do this with any part of your life. There’s lots of...

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20 Dec Last seen … curving the arc

Story arcs. What are they? Why are they useful? For years I didn’t think that story arcs applied to non-fiction like they do to fiction. For any of you involved in film or television, the story or character arc is a familiar concept. Television episodes...

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16 Dec Finding Allies

If you are anything like me, you’ll find many excuses not to write. Even vacuuming can be a good distraction when I have a looming deadline. To tackle this common affliction, I came across a good writing exercise by novelist Louise Doughty. Like all the...

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13 Dec Perfecting the Pitch

Pitching. Love it or loathe it, it is part of a freelance writer’s life. Personally, it’s the the job I like the least. First you take the time to read the publication or website thoroughly. You work out the regular slots and how to tailor your...

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13 Dec Writing Ally of the Moment

I recently discovered Scrivener, a fantastic writing software and project management tool for any longer piece of work, from a travel memoir to a novel. You can organise your material and collate lots of research easily. Even for a technophobe like me, I found the...

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10 Dec Among the Detail

I’m reading John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is the first line: ‘He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed moustache, hair turning silver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like...

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