1. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Travel writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Coldwriter, Dec 11, 2009.

    Does anyone have experience with travel writing? Write travel articles yourself, or know someone who does, or reads them?

    I have been fortunate to visit the deep jungles of Brazil twice, sliding through Amazon river in canoe that looks more like the hallowed trunk of a tree.

    Coincidentally, I am blessed to have studied and lived in China on two occasions; the most recent visit lasted a year. I survived a a boat capsizing on the river between Vietnam and China, re-calling my moments beneath the river's surface as the only time I wondered if I would die.

    I want to write about these events! I love sharing information and news with others, and especially from a place many people have seen.
    Since I am returning to China in the near future, I want to write about the experience. what a great opportunity and point of view to be taken from that.

    I suppose my question is what comes to your mind when you are asked, "What is travel writing? What makes it good? Bad? Do you want to know more about the people or place, is a good cohesion of both necessary?"

    I know local flavor is so key here. The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Myer is a great example of providing insights he could not otherwise have known had he not lived in the hu tongs.

    That isn't a travel article, but is included in the general thought and idea of travel writing. He turned it into a book.

    I know checking out National Geographic and Travel & Leisure is a good way to figure out style and what is important.

    Sorry this is really long now..I would love to flush out more thoughts on this.
    I just want to hear any thoughts on the subject, maybe something else i havent thought of, a direction or two
    thanks
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't have much interest in travel writing as a principal focus. I prefer it as an element of a story, like Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. You still get a sense of the land and the culture, but the real focus remains on the characters.
     
  3. hszmv
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    hszmv Member

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    I live in the Orlando area and have two articles about the Disney Parks written. I chose a top ten list format (One was the best attractions, and the other was the worst attractions). I tried to say something nice about the bad ones and something redeeming about the good ones and why I personally enjoyed/hated the rides.

    Don't know if it helps, but if you want to read them, I can send you the rough drafts. My editor thought they were the best "local attractions" writing he published.
     
  4. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    I love describing scenes, the outdoors, lands, etc. I want to try the non-fiction route to expand my writing, but my heart is in placing it in the fiction as well, Cognito

    Why not? It can only help
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd say your first step should be deciding what it is you want to write... travel articles for in-flight and other travel-based mags?... essays for mags focusing on certain parts of the world, or targeted readerships?... a book about your travels?... a book about a specific experience/country? [you should read paul theroux's travel stuff... he's the acknowledged master of the genre in both fiction and non-fiction]

    once you've done that, then you need to research the relevant market/s... and when you've got all that pegged, just start writing!

    i've traveled the world over for more than 3 decades, have read, written and edited much travel-oriented writings, so would be happy to help you in any way i can...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  6. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Maia,

    Perfect. I need structure sometimes to put me on course instead of saying, oh i like this, this is fun...yeah.

    I went to Theroux's site and what I found really inspired me to me. I promptly reserved three books from the library and read two articles and an interview. Time to read.

    After that, I can pin point the area. I would love to write for magazines, giving readers at home peeks into little-known places outside their world. And it doesn't have to be exotic necessarily. Maybe that is a good place to start. But I think, writing a book about an experience in a country and then also, turning a trip or a journey into a novel, or fictitious piece is the ultimate.

    I will start the research, now that it's focused a wee bit more.

    Thank you (and over thirty years of travel...i love it!)
     
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  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm so glad to know my post did you some good, cw... if you need any help along the way, or just want a neutral assessment of the writing, feel free to email me any time... it's what i'm here for...

    hugs, m
     
  8. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    You got it
     

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