how to write travel stories. TOP TEN TIPS
My next one-day travel writing workshop ( They Pay you to do What!) is 13th August 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand
Keen on travel – like to write? As travel editor of newspaper (now defunct so please don’t send me stories J ) here is a list of what we wanted from people who wanted to send us submissions. I hope some of these will be helpful as good tips for you travel writing.
Here’s what we asked for: Firstly we required authentic travel articles from people with a passion for travel.
- In other words, you have actually been there, done that. If you haven’t actually got the T-shirt, you at least have real experience to write about, not information gleaned (plagiarised) from the internet or travel book. They are great for research before you go – we want to hear about your adventures after the trip; good and bad.
- So what makes a good travel article? The goal is to transfer the emotional experience to the reader.
- Avoid long scenery bits and a day by day, sight by sight, blow by blow account of your journey.
- Tempt with flavour, use weather to create atmosphere. Encourage with imaginative language, and resolve doubts with facts.
- Take an unusual viewpoint and offer practical advice. Disabled travellers, parents with children and others need relevant information.
- Who, what, how, why and when are always good to start with, and don’t forget smells, sounds, touch, sight and colour.
- Tighten the focus of any story, don’t give too much detail, people want the feel of a place not all it’s history or each shop in a street. Aim for a free flowing narrative.
- Try to keep the personal to a minimum – you, travellers and visitors are inviting words. Frequent use of the word “I” doesn’t encourage the reader to visit too.
- Give a strong structure to the piece . . . beginning, middle and end. Set the scene, take the reader with you, and round off the story.
- A fact file can be really helpful – airlines, flights, costs, best season, accommodation.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Even though I write frequently, it’s when I concentrate on these basics that the story is better, the scenery brighter and the food tastier. Check out some of my stories on www.kiwitravelwriter.com
For more of my writing check out another blog here
ALSO see the top of this blog for comments and reviews about my book Naked in Budapest: travels with a passionate nomad . ISBN 978-0-473-11675-0