[found on writersworkshop.co.uk; by Robin Lloyd-Jones]
- Do your research – pre-travel research enriches the whole experience; post-travel research adds depth and accuracy to what you write. While travelling keep notes or you will forget; and take photographs to illustrate your words.
- Be curious – about everything and everybody. What makes many travel books enjoyable is the people encountered along the way. Talk to everyone and never stop asking questions. Listen with a sympathetic ear. Look behind the glossy façade, delve beneath the surface.
- Have a sense of wonder – Colours seemed so much brighter when we were children. Try to see the world with that same freshness of vision.
- Use all your senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Develop a feeling for the culture and history of a place. And a sense of humour allied to keen observation can make the most ordinary of experiences entertaining.
- Don’t neglect your inner journey – Many of the most successful travel books are as much about the emotional journey the author makes as they are about the physical journey. The resolution of a personal issue or a change in attitude adds interest and brings the reader closer to the author.
- Write with passion – To fully engage the reader (or indeed, a literary agent) your book must have something in it that you care about strongly – an issue, a cause, the pursuit of a lifelong ambition. Without this your writing is in danger of seeming flat.
- Be an open door, be receptive – Travel with open eyes, ears, mind and heart.
For more tips on writing from Robin Lloyd-Jones, click here.