Travel writing is often something people want to tackle, and it’s generally a good starting point – you want to find a way to share your travel experiences with a wider audience.
But where do you start?
A good way to get some focus and build some momentum around your travel writing project is to start by brainstorming a short series of questions.
Who is your audience?
It’s okay if you’re just writing for yourself, but most people want someone to read their writing at some point.
If you can articulate who it is that you’re writing for, it can help to clarify the tone and style that would best suit your target audience.
For example, if you’re writing about your travel adventures, maybe you’re writing for people who are considering a similar trip? Maybe it’s for people who are passionate about travel?
What are the key messages you want to convey?
Think about what information you’re trying to share with your target audience. Is it factual information, or is it more inspirational and insightful? Are you wanting to share insider tips on how to get from the airport to your hotel, or are you wanting to share some of the things you learnt about yourself while travelling?
What do you want people to feel when reading this book?
Emotions are really important when you’re writing. Visualise someone who is reading what you’ve written. What do you want them to be feeling? Are they feeling inspired? Thoughtful? Reflective? Empathetic?
This is going to help you during the editing and review phase of your work – has what you’ve written delivered on the emotions that you’re trying to connect to?
What structure will you use?
Sometimes it’s easier to come back to structure once you’ve got a first draft down on the page.
Think about how you’re going to help guide and navigate the reader through what you’ve written. Are you using chapters? Does each chapter relate to a different place or an experience?
How will you use photos?
Particularly when you’re talking about travel and travel experiences, photos can be a really powerful way to help you convey a sense of place.
Thinking about photos and structure can be a way to help organise your thoughts and progress your writing plan. If your structure is based around different places, then you’ll need to organise your photos in that way. If your structure is based around food, or people, or something else, then you will need to think about your photo choices accordingly.
What’s the narrative arc?
You’re writing about your travel experiences, not writing a novel, but you still need to think about the story that you’re telling. Who or what is the hero of this story? How will you reflect a change in perspective or growth of some kind?
One of the hardest things with any writing project is getting started. It’s great to have lots of ideas and lots of inspiration, but you’ve got to find a way to actually get those ideas onto the page.
Once you’ve got your first draft down, it’s a lot easier to see what you’re working with, to expand and refine your thoughts, to make your writing better and more insightful.
Writing prompt – gay bar names
We’ve all been to our fair share of gay bars and clubs. Some of the best nights out are in the bars with the most memorable names.
What are some of the gay bars that you’ve been to with a memorable name? Here’s some we’ve come across:
- Woody’s – Toronto
- The Cock – New York City
- Swinging Richards – Atlanta
- BJ Rooster’s – Atlanta
- Manhole – Chicago
- Malebox – Detroit
- Ramrod – Boston
- DMYK – Singapore (Does Your Mother Know)
- The Molly House – Manchester
Write an 800-word travel article about a visit to a gay bar.
It could be about the first gay bar that you ever went to, or a memorable night out, or a bar that you visited on your travels.
What was the name of the bar? Where was it? Did you go by yourself? Did you have a good time? What was the crowd like?
What are you trying to convey to the reader about this gay bar experience?