Comments and conversations

There were a lot of comments on my last blog entry for this site, relative to the normal amount these posts receive. (“The What-ness, part 2: Choose what to lose”, can be read at The post was about avoiding easy clichés and sterile recounting in your travel writing, and putting in the effort to drill down into the core experience and character of the place.

The comments were very thoughtful and generally reiterated the importance of trying to avoid, in one commenter’s words, “play by play A-B accounts of been there, did this and ate that.” He continued, “What I really want when I pick up a travelogue is to know about the people of a place that make the place special but instead.”


Another commented, “I like to focus on the senses and relationship. While I often include part of what you’re talking about as a framework, I’ll fill in around it with what I see, taste, smell, touch, and hear and how it relates to my emotions, past experience, and present experience.”

That’s exactly right, and it’s the conversation I meant to inspire. It’s also indicative of the fact that many people find travelogues to be dry, adjective-based accounts of “I did this and went here, and it was (hot/cold/rainy/lame/expensive)”.

When recounting the day’s events in your journal or penning an article for readers eager to be transported by your words, search for insights and rich sensory data that give flesh to the bones of description.

The planet and its inhabitants are marvelously diverse. Our little blue marble is teeming with stories waiting to be told. Those stories deserve your best. Ditch the adjectives and dig deep.

Posted by | Comments Off on Comments and conversations  | July 20, 2012
Category: Feedback, General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing

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