Travel writers use a variety of styles and techniques but generally it reflects a strong sense of the writer’s personality, their intelligence and wit.
They try to convey images and descriptions to readers using as many senses as possible combined with practical and accurate information that is useful to the reader. Not every element needs to be covered or in any set order.
When you have drafted your entry, think about the following check list before your revise and polish.
Start with a snappy opening to hook the reader - something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.
The place, link it to the geography.
Season - grounding the reader in time and climate.
Introduces the writer – the use of personal pronouns.
Reason for the trip – draws the reader into the story.
The process of travel; the story line.
The story details, quotes from people, anecdotes and facts.
Wraps up the article, perhaps linking to the lead.
Make your story a personal account, interwoven with facts, descriptions and observations.
Try to come up with a narrative thread that will run through the piece, linking the beginning and the end to the point you are making.
The piece should flow, but you don’t have to tell the entire trip, pick the best bits, anecdotes and descriptions that will tell the story.
Quotes from people you meet can bring the piece to life.
Avoid clichés. Don’t be too clever or formal.
The best writing sounds natural and has personality.
VARY THE FOCUS
Think of the analogy of a camera lens:
- wide lens for setting and landscape
- medium lens for context and colour
- zoom lens for detail and narrative
Use reliable sources and double check they are correct.
Edit hard and polish it up. Accuracy is everything.
Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, facts.