Writer's Name

Matt Bruflodt

Working title

How Not to Write about Travel

What will the article cover? What will it be about?

In the summer of 2011 I went to South America with the intention of writing a travel narrative. I made mistakes. And since then I have been struggling to find my way through that experience and all of my supplementary information. I feel like the majority of those mistakes were avoidable and the few things I did right are, I think, worth stating as well.

What stance will you take? p 32, and again on p 82:

To teach. To inform. To be helpful.

Consider audience fit

I'm primarily concerned with writing to beginners, or people facing the task of writing about travel for the first time. People who have written travel narratives before, don't need this. They know it all already. Though they may not be conscious of their own mistakes.

Consider how the article will make contact with readers - chap 3, and chap 4, p 80 - 81

Talk about people. To begin with, I have a problem with ethos. I've only written one major travel narrative (big deal, right) that I'm not even finished with. People want advice from Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, V. S Naipaul, or Paul Bowles. So I will be using some of their "rules" with my own examples.

Something new. Most of the travel writing tips you find online are very basic: "Travel A Lot," "Write Write Write," etc. I want to be more specific. You don't just write write write, there are specific times to write, and a specific way you should be writing. In fact, I would also like to point out that it was this kind of shitty advice that allowed me to make the mistakes in the first place.

I will also go into some travel things that aren't directly related to writing, like don't lug 50 lbs of books on your back halfway across the globe. Basic stuff: what to bring, what to leave at home, what work to do before you go, while you're there, and when you get back. And more specific stuff: find an English bookstore and get to know the owner, stay with a family or people who live there, pick your destinations based on the kind of thing you want to write, etc.

Where might the article fit on TIO: section and category, either existing or one that will collect others

Research and practices you'll need to do to write the article.

Mostly, I will be relating my own experience, though I also plan on bouncing that experience off of professional advise.


Article length

1000 - 1500 w0rds
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