Ann Rickard gives travel writing tips and tricks

Award winning travel author Ann Rickard shares writing tips

"Ann Rickard has been a travel writer for more than two decades, even though she didn't start travel writing until she was in her 50s. She has written six travel books and published countless travel articles over the years.

She encourages all seniors to enter the internship competition.

Here are some of her tips for good travel writing.

Good luck in the competition,"

Gail Forrer

Group Editor

WHEN travelling keep your eyes and ears open. There is always something interesting happening around you. It's up to you do find it. Observe, observe, observe.

Do your research before you go so you are clued up and don't have to waste time checking facts when you get there. But don't let your research weigh you down.

Be open to experiences outside your research. Be aware of spontaneity.

Use all five senses when you write and you will capture the essence of a place.

Facts are vital, but they must not overtake your prose.

Don't try to cram everything in to one go.

Write about what you know, for example, if you're an expert shopper, use that as your angle. If you love sporty stuff, get involved in activates you can report on with knowledge. If you are an art and craft person, visit craft shops and markets and write with colour and experience.

Take your reader with you through your story, make her feel as though she has experienced the adventure too.

Ann Rickard does her Julie Andrews at Lake Truebsee.
Ann Rickard does her Julie Andrews at Lake Truebsee. Picasa

Avoid clichés (for example, "bustling markets", "spectacular sunsets"). Be specific. Tell us about the sounds and smells at the market, the colours of the sunset.

Don't overwrite. Be concise.

Get the reader to the destination as quickly as possible. She doesn't need to hear about the airport, the flight, the getting there.

Use similes - they will colour your prose like nothing.

Let your story sit for a day or longer, then go back to it.

Edit and polish it. Then edit and polish it again. And again. (And once more.)

Good luck.

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