Caroline Hurry, editor-in-chief of Travelwrite.co.za,
wrote words of truth about “our” profession.
I took it upon myself to respond.
Read what makes her a great writer,
21 tips to make your travel stories enticing…
especially for those to lazy to actually get off their couch
and venture out.
1. Forget a basic outline!
Just start writing and if the various aspects come together good,
2. The narrative will take care of itself.
NEVER talk to the locals,
as they never have interesting stories to tell.
More importantly DO NOT do any research about your destination.
3. Always add family members into the story.
Your readers will hang on every word about their experiences.
Really, they do.
4. Repeat, repeat and, if all else fails...
Why bother to try and find a fresh angle to the story.
Most places have been written about before and will be again,
which means there is nothing original left.
5. Not too many details please.
Your reader can get that information online.
Travelling as a writer is not the same as writing as a tourist.
Never be specific.
6. Never compare yourself to other travel writers.(it will just depress you)
Continue doing what you do best and write in your own style.
Me in between Caroline Hurry and Bruce Dennill,
both of whom were instrumental in my writing career.
7. Use as many cliches as you can fit into your “word count”.
Remember lodges always “nestle” at the foothills or
“perch” atop a mountain with “breathtaking views.”
Originality is overrated.
8. Always be upbeat, even if your spouse has almost been electrocuted in a spa bath.
It might not happen to another guest so why mention it.
Only spoils the holiday of other guests to that hotel.
9. Do not read, I repeat, do not read!
Reading does nothing for your writing skills and it takes up valuable TV time.
10. Never add any historical or political angles to your story.
If you don't care... neither will your readers.
Unless you get paid for research.
Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth is as beautiful as the beaches in Brazil.
And if it isn't who is going to write in and complain?
12. Your job is not to entertain or educate, just report.
13. Write, write, write:
You have to write even when – especially when – you don't feel like it.
14. Paint with paint.
Words? Visit landfills to give your reader the smell of a place.
15. Specialties are for Doctors and surgeons;
If you want to stand out, use big words.
16. If you can't afford to travel,
walk around your suburb and write about that.
You can always do a trade exchange for a cup of coffee with a local restaurant.
17. Don’t give up.
18. Use adverbs and flowery descriptions.
Verbs? Who needs those?
19. ALWAYS end with “I can't wait to return to…”
Readers expect to see that.
If YOU want to go back, they WILL want to visit
20.There MUST always be pictures of food.
21. Never read your article once it is finished,
just email it off to your editor
and let him(or her) deal with it.
Kate Turkington gave me my start in travel writing.
And for that I will always be grateful.
"Travel & Things" was an entrant in this competition.
Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered