So, you want to write travel articles and hopefully build up to a career criss-crossing the world writing witty reportage about unique places? Great, but just remember it’s a crowded marketplace – this kind of writing forms a genre with well known styles and well-worn paths. There are many masters of the genre who you should study ceaselessly, but there are also some common traps that you want to make sure you steer clear of when you are learning your trade.
Think Carefully About Your Structure and Form
A lot of writing about exotic places comes about through a self-indulgent need to record our own experiences, but this shouldn’t be the fuel for your travel articles. As much as you might want to share the personal details of your last summer holiday, the chances are that no one else will want to read it. Think about the order of the information that you are presenting, the chances are that a linear structure isn’t totally appropriate, as you’ll need to decide what information to present and what to omit. This is usually just a matter of practice, so as you build up a portfolio you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t.
Try to Enliven Your English
There are so many well trodden turns of phrase in the English language that merely by bringing them to the party you’ll make your travel articles look tired and dull. Think carefully about the adjectives that you use as this is a crucial area in which you can bring some life to your prose. Never, ever, describe something as ‘nice’ unless your life depends on it. Think of descriptive words that really do their job and aim for precision.
Keep Some Moderation
It can be very easy to aim for the superlative whenever you feel enthusiasm for a place. The problem with taking a less-measured approach is that it quickly loses its impact. Try to include information in your travel articles rather than express emotion. By taking this kind of approach you’ll find that your writing can have much more impact, especially for when it comes to points when you need or want to produce an emotional response in your readers.
Don’t Use Artificial Comparisons
So often we see somewhere described as the size of Luxembourg, or the size of Dallas. This really should be avoided as it makes the writing seem very parochial. If you mention the area of a place, or the population of a city, then the reader will be able to do their own comparison, you don’t need to do the work for them.