Creative Travel Writing

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The best travel or food writing is often longform essays, historical accounts told through food, or in-depth interviews.

“I’m continually surprised how many people think a food/travel writer is always a reviewer – that our sole purpose is to pass judgment on a place.

Try to use language that is specific to what you’re describing, and which allows readers to paint a picture in their mind’s eye.

If you’re wandering around a strange country without a guidebook, you look for signposts. Every few paragraphs tell them where you’re going next, and remind them of your ultimate goal.

) and some will not (you arrived back at the airport on time*).

As a writer, your first job is to decide on the particular story you want to tell, and the events which make up that story.But many trips don’t have an obvious goal; they are more about discovering a place, unpicking its history or meeting its people.In this case, create a personal goal to give your reader a sense of where you’re taking them.You can use drama, humour, dialogue, (or all three) – but those first sentences must grip like glue. Whenever you travel, make notes of what people say and how they say it.‘Showing’ and ‘telling’ are two everyday storytelling techniques you probably use without realising.Not only about dozens of places and types of food, but also about the industry.I spent the last few weeks talking to a couple dozen other established travel and food writers, bloggers, and Instagrammers about the behind-the-scenes aspects of their jobs. Though the rise of social media, especially Instagram, has enmeshed them.With a paragraph to spare, put the brakes on and start setting up your conclusion. Think about where you started, and reflect on the journey. Paid for vacations, elaborate dinners, beautiful accommodations, once in a lifetime experiences done in the name of research. But ask any travel writer or influencer about their job, and they’ll rush to tell you it’s not that easy.“You’re not a traveler who’s writing, you’re a writer who’s traveling,” travel writer Diane Daniel told me.“You will not be on anything resembling a vacation (to be successful at least) and half your time will be gathering menus, open/closing hours, etc., and you’ll visit a week’s worth of places in a day.” Travel writing often goes beyond reviews or the ‘go here, do this’ type of article, which is something many travel writers feel their audiences don’t understand.


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