A version of this feature was originally published in the 100th issue of The New Writer magazine.
Judy Darley offers advice on capturing the essence of a place in journalistic and creative writing.
As a travel and fiction writer I have a strong awareness of the importance of a sense of place in all kinds of writing. Sights, sounds and smells all add up to an evocative image for the reader, and keep them interested in the story, whether it’s a piece of fiction or a feature.
Open any story or feature with a few words of description about where your scene is taking place, and you immediately provide the reader with a tangible image to hold on to as your tale unfurls. A location can set a tone, a mood, and conjure up an atmosphere far more adeptly than a lengthy description of your main actors’ feelings and actions. Continue reading
The following extract is part of one of my travel features, and can be read in full at Travelbite.com.
That night we stayed at Hotel Dunav, an exquisite family-run hotel set on the shores of the River Danube – Dunav in Croatian. With its own sandy beach, a multitude of outdoor seating and even its own pleasure cruiser, this is a popular spot for vast wedding and Christening parties, as well as providing a tranquil getaway. I woke shortly after dawn and meandered along the riverbank in the early light, watched by a flock of crows that flapped their way from tree to tree as I passed.
From here it’s just a short journey into Ilok, Croatia’s easternmost town (pictured above), with 1km of intact medieval walls, a lovely old stone church and a state-of-the-art museum, one of the few in Slavonia with displays in English as well as Croatian, overlooking the river to Serbia. Continue reading
Looking for inspiration this autumn? Some places definitely offer more than others. Take Prague, for example. Stag and Hen Party central, sure, but get past all that and you’ll discover a city where legends are as alive as any pre-hangover holidaymakers. Continue reading