Travel writing

Travel writing is a good way to earn money as a writer as many places publish them.

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going. Travel is only glamorous in retrospect. – Paul Theroux 

Know the point of your piece

What do you want your reader to learn from your experience? What’s the take-away? When you know this, then you can craft a tightly constructed piece that leads the reader step by step to that point.

Contemplate and convey your connection to the story

Always begin by asking yourself what you bring to the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon or Venice that no one has brought before. What is particular about your experience, background or interests that will allow you to see and describe things most others could never see. – Pico Iyer

We all see things differently and with travel writing, you need to bring to the piece that difference.

Make it personal. Let the reader know how the place and experience are affecting you. Too many travel writers seem to believe that the journey ‘makes’ the story. It doesn’t. In the end, anyone can travel to Timbukto, but only a few people will write about the journey well. – Stanley Stewart

Leave the boring bits out

No one wants to read about the boring travel bits: the waiting, the tummy bugs, the sitting around. Leave those out. Keep it interesting for the reader.

Exercise

Think about the last place you travelled to out of your hometown and write down:

  • What’s the take-away from the experience?
  • What is your particular perspective?
  • How did it affect you?
  • Then cut out the boring bits.
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