Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Amelia Island, Florida.
Another challenge of commercial writing is changing your “voice” to fit the target demographic. That affects everything from the types of activities you select to the words you use to describe them.
For about a year, I wrote the Phoenix-area items for the Directory section of Allure magazine, where the editors guided me toward what I now recognize as the Condé Nast voice. (“That sounds a little too punky,” one replied after I submitted an item about a haircolorist who specialized in what would eventually be known as balayage—I had described the process too literally, and not figuratively enough to make it something readers would aspire to.)
Here, one of my assignments was creating a “Romantic Getaway,” a category that’s very subjective—one person’s sunny beach frolic is another’s sand-strewn nightmare. In such cases, like the Allure assignments, my solution is to create fictional characters based on the target reader, and select activities that would delight them. (In this case, my characters had opted to eschew the hedonism of Miami and the society scene of West Palm Beach—they preferred character over crowds, and eclectic, intimate experiences instead of the unimaginative, insipid activities everyone else flocks to.)
Head here for a two-day “Romantic Getaway” piece, and here for a three-day “Island Adventure” itinerary. (And this is one of my favorite short intros for this whole series, too—it includes pirate flags, “explorers and escapists alike” and “striding up the emerald fairway,” all in less than 100 words.)