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How to describe a tropical scenic beach

Just as an amateur photographer can wash out the vibrancy of a seascape, a novice writer can depict a stunning beach scene as blasé. It takes skill and practice to convey the essence of a tropical scene without drowning your writing in overused phrases like 'tropical paradise' and 'scenic views.' A well-crafted description can grab the attention of even the most seasoned beach lovers. To create compelling travel pieces -- whether for publication or for private journaling -- a writer can learn from techniques of skilled photographers, using nouns as a filter and adjectives as a focusing lens.

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  1. Visit the beach and jot down your initial impressions in a small notebook or record on a voice recorder. Gather specific but concise notes that can jog your memory when you sit down to write.

  2. Investigate the details behind observations from your visit. If the sand was exceptionally soft, find out why. If most visitors to the beach appeared to be local residents, find out if your observations are backed up by advice on travel sites. These details can help sharpen your article and provide flavour.

  3. Visit the beach with a camera and snap photos of everything. Consider recording a video of the beach, capturing every detail including wildlife, different views, sounds -- if recording audio -- and behaviour of beach visitors. If something catches your attention, record or take photos at length. Do little crabs scurry at sunset? Do palm trees tilt in irregular angles? If so, write it, record it, and remember it.

  4. Jot down how you would describe the beach if you were forced to provide a description in only one sentence. This sentence will define your focus for the article. As you write, keep this central idea in mind.

  5. Create an outline. How can your focus sentence from step 1 be illustrated by two to four sections? Typical sections describing a beach might include flora and fauna, sand and sea, people and their activities.

  6. Flesh out the sections from step 2, using a thesaurus when needed to provide fresh adjectives.

  7. Write an introductory sentence that dazzles by highlighting something new, intriguing or unusual about the beach. Show, don't tell.

  8. Write transitions that naturally link each section. Do sunbathers splash back from the ocean to laze under stiletto palms? These actions connect descriptions of ocean waves and tropical foliage. Transitions allow the reader to visualise the scene.

  9. Tip

    A thesaurus comes in especially handy when writing about tropical locations.


    Don't become so fixated on the writing process that you forget to enjoy the scenery. Staying fresh and inquisitive will complement your writing skill.

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Things You'll Need

  • Voice recorder
  • Camera
  • Video Camera - optional
  • Thesaurus

About the Author

Christine McKnelly is a writer and registered dietitian working as her state's coordinator for the Governor's Council on Fitness. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the "Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture," the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette" and "Monday Escapes" online travel magazine. In 2011, her narrative essay, "Should Have Gone To Annandale" placed among the top 10 finalists in Leap Local's international travel writing contest.

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