(Travel Editor, S.F. Chronicle)
Spud Hilton is the travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, where since 2000 he has written about and been hopelessly lost in destinations on six continents, and where his writing and editing have earned seven Lowell Thomas Awards. Spud founded the Bad Latitude travel blog at SFGate.com, and his Travel Tips videos have been featured by Peter Greenberg and Rudy Maxa. He teaches writing and photography at national events including TBEX and the Book Passage Travel Writing Conference.
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Road map to storytelling: Writing that turns visitors into loyal readers
Blogging > Content > Storytelling
Education Level: Beginner
Having all the SEO, page views and followers in the world doesn’t mean you know how to tell a story — one of the few things that makes visitors come back. Writing without a point or an angle is a joke without a punchline. Nearly all great stories, from cave drawings through Susan Orlean’s latest work, follow some version of the same road map — and without it, most stories just wander. Learn the structure of storytelling, from a great lead to a solid angle to an ending that makes readers remember your name.
1. How to find and focus the point of your story;
2. How to write a first paragraph that makes readers want to read the second;
3. That being funny isn’t enough, and that relating an amazing experience by itself is just rehashing a diary;
4. How to use first-person narrative to take readers along for the ride;
5. How to use storytelling as a way to set your blog apart from the pack.