SATW: 60 Second Travel Writer #9 – Using Quotations

Quotations are one of a writer’s most useful tools.

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

Which of these two bits of text is more compelling:

In Chesky Krumlov, a local guide in period dress gave us a tour of the town and explained that in the 18th century, this was the crossroads of Europe.


In Cesky Krumlov, a man wearing a black frock coat and white ruffled collar approached us from across the cobblestone town square and introduced himself. “My name is Joseph Anton; we’re in the 18th century, and I am the town scribe,” he explained as he led us up a narrow street lined by baroque and Renaissance houses. “We are at the crossroads of Europe.”

Quotations and dialogue enliven your text and propel the narrative. Not sure when to use them? If it’s just a statement of fact, put it in your own words. If the person you’re interviewing says it better than you can, use the quote.

For SATW Professional Development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman.