There a number of reasons why writing about your travels is an excellent way of enhancing the experience. Whether you are writing in order to solidify the memories of a travel experience in your mind, or to share them with an audience, writing them down is an excellent way of achieving this. If you are able to develop your skills far enough, you can even make a decent living as a travel writer.
Here are some top words of advice, gleaned from experienced travel writers, that will help you to make your travel writing as interesting and engaging as possible.
Give it a Story
Simply traveling on its own will not give you the material you need for compelling travel writing. Whether you are planning to write an individual article, or a more long-form piece, you will want to give it some kind of overarching story or narrative. If you don’t do this, your travel writing will be little more than a list of things you did while on holiday.
If you read some existing travel articles and books, you will see how the most compelling writing, regardless of the medium it is published in, makes use of a narrative structure in order to engage the reader. There may be many interesting events during your travels that are well worth recording. Your job as a writer is to identify these events and weave a narrative to connect them all together.
Have Notable Experiences
It might seem obvious, but the more interesting and remarkable your experiences are, the easier it will be to write about them in a compelling way. Naturally, you will want your travel experiences to be as memorable as possible. The main purpose of travel is to experience things you would otherwise be unable to.
If you are planning on travelling to Paris, for example, a place where there are a number of notable attractions to be seen, you can take advantage of the tour passes sold by Fastpasstours.com in order to pack in as much as you can. Many of the passes they offer also include a tour of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, which will help to add some colour and detail to your writing.
Set Yourself a Goal
Ask any writer, regardless of the genre they work in, and they will tell you that the whole process is much easier when you have a clear goal in mind. Whether you are writing a whole book or just an individual article, your writing should be undertaken with purpose. For many people, their travels themselves will have a purpose and an objective, and sometimes this will also serve as an effective focus for your writing.
However, it won’t always be so obvious what you should choose as the main through line of your writing. If your trip is more about gaining a deeper understanding of another country or culture, perhaps even yourself, this can also form the basis of a writing objective.
Keep Your Writing Focused
It is inevitable with any travel experience that there will be some interesting bits, and some not so interesting bits. Your job as a writer is to identify the bits of your experience which are worthy of inclusion in the final piece, and which should be left behind. It isn’t just the physical experiences and things you do that you need to be selective about. You also need to consider whether your thoughts and observations warrant inclusion in your final piece, or whether they are best left as personal consideration.
There may also be some aspects of your travel which are interesting enough to warrant relaying in your writing, but whose inclusion would detract from your overall aims and goals. Filtering out the irrelevant aspects of your travel, focusing on those that are going to be of the most use to you – and most interesting to the reader – is an essential skill to develop if you want to make it as a travel writer.
Grip Them from the Beginning
This is another writing tip that is applicable to all forms of writing. If you can write a killer opening, you will instantly draw the reader in. One you have done this, everything else becomes a lot easier. A quality opening paragraph that intrigues the reader will have them eager to read on. You don’t necessarily need to maintain the same pace throughout, as long as you have a well-crafted opening, the reader will want to find out more.
A common way of achieving this is to begin the piece in the thick of the action, then backing up to set the scene. Doing things this way allows you to write a more enticing and exciting, fast-paced opening, then shift down gear to provide the broader backdrop and context.
Don’t Shy Away from Dialogue
Many people think of dialogue as being something that only fiction writers use, with non-fiction authors sometimes quoting people, but generally shying away from any kind of extended dialogue. However, this is a common misconception. In fact, the inclusion of dialogue can make your travel writing much more immersive and provide your readers with the kind of additional colour and detail that will make your writing stick in their memories.
Dialogue is also a great way of conveying information in a more interesting way. If you are simply stating facts, it isn’t going to be very interesting for the reader. Instead, communicating that information through dialogue allows you to expand upon it and to add detail in a natural way. More importantly, it will help to maintain the flow of your piece.
Show and Tell
In writing, showing and telling are both different techniques which are used in very different ways in order to convey information to a reader. When a reader is told something, the information is simply stated and relayed to them. By contrast, showing something to a reader means showing them indirectly that it is true. For example, if you want to convey to the reader that the place you visited was hot, you could just tell the reader this, but that’s not very interesting.
A more interesting way of conveying that information would be to say “the local fashion style has been formed in response to the punishing heat. Their clothes were clearly effective at dissipating the heat; while they walked around comfortably, I couldn’t stop sweating.” Conveying information in this way adds a great deal of colour and character to your writing.
Keep it Entertaining
In your travel writing, you will want to convey certain ideas and information to the reader. However, you should also be aiming to entertain them, and this is the tricky part of the equation. The more entertaining our writing is, the more engaging it will be and the more memorable it will be. Among the most common mistakes made by inexperienced travel writers is packing their writing with clichés and superfluous details.
If you want your writing to remain entertaining, you should think carefully about the language you use and the atmosphere you create for the reader. In order to make your writing as engaging and entertaining as it can be, you will need to remain mindful of the audience that you are trying to reach.
So, what are you waiting for? Writing about your travelling adventures is an excellent way of commemorating your experiences and encouraging you to reflect on it in new ways.