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Travel Writing

Posted by: | October 14, 2009 | No Comment |

Travel writing became popular in the early 20th century, although it has been around in some form since the invention of writing. It is a type of feature writing that often involves humor, personal views, and vivid descriptions. As a travel writer, you are able to express your views on places all around the world. Good travel writing is often associated with tourism or guidebooks.

Today’s travel writing is more ubiquitous than early pieces. ┬áToday, there are websites like TravelReporters that let an ordinary user submit their writing. When travel writing first began, people would write about the places they visited and how they were received. For example, early travelogues by women included impressions of how they were received as a woman and as a foreigner. The travelogues of people often tell more about their culture than they do of the culture they are visiting.

Travel writing was important to early rulers when they desired knowledge of other lands. During the post classical era, trade and pilgrimage became major incentives to travel. People would document what they did on their journeys and who they met. People had a desire for reading about foreign lands and faraway places.

During the 20th century, the development of mass transit meant the explosion of travel writing. Mass travel helped develop tourism. With huge amounts of people visiting foreign places, the demand for guidebooks grew. Guidebooks offered advice on food, lodging, local sites and customs, and shopping.

To be a successful travel writer, there are some general guidelines to follow. Even if you are not a writer, you will probably appreciate reading articles that follow these guidelines.

  • Don’t use cliches.
  • Go easy on the adjectives. Don’t use huge descriptive words that you wouldn’t use in everyday language.
  • Don’t use the first-person. People don’t care what your reactions to a place are.
  • Be careful about mentioning religious or ethnic differences.
  • Don’t exclude people with the way that you write. Try not to use obscure language
  • Try to accentuate the positive aspects of a destination.
  • Look for the little details of a place, or the little-known treasures in a town.
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