Stanley Stewart on what makes good travel writing

“Good travel writing is done by good writers who travel. It is not enough to have swum through piranha-infested waters to the source of the Amazon. You must be able to write well to convey that experience. When you have learned the craft of writing, you can make a stroll through your own suburban neighborhood seem interesting, even exciting. Good travel writing needs much the same ingredients as any good story — narrative, drive, characters, dialogue, atmosphere, revelation. Make it personal. Let the reader know how the place and the experience are affecting you.

“Good travel writing is just good writing. It must have literary merit. The most important journey you will make as a travel writer is the journey of a good sentence. Without that, you close encounter with the piranhas is wasted.

“Bad travel writing is done by travelers, often good travelers, who mistakenly believe they can write. There seems to be an awful lot of them about. Their prose is littered with clich

Posted by | Comments Off on Stanley Stewart on what makes good travel writing  | July 8, 2005
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

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