SATW: 60 Second Travel Writer #10 – Writing Tight

It seems like, increasingly, publications want shorter and shorter articles. Don’t let that throw you.

I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman, and here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip.

You can write tight and bright by following a few rules:

  • Use Active Voice: Don’t say, “My story was ruined by an editor.” Say: “An editor ruined my story.”
  • Use Action Verbs: Not: “The story is an illustration.” Say: “The story illustrates.”
  • Use Simple Tenses. Not: “I’m planning to write.” Say: “I plan to write.”
  • Beware of Prepositions. Instead of: “The heart of the city.” Say “The city’s heart.”
  • Use Adjectives and Adverbs Sparingly. Use strong nouns and verbs instead.
  • Be Specific. Just because you have a tight word count doesn’t mean you can’t use detail. Go in greater detail about fewer things. Be selective, not inclusive – choose one or two things to illustrate your point.

Think of your article as a kind of haiku. Short, but sweet.

For SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman.