“Nobody turns so quickly into a bore as a traveler home from his travels. He enjoyed his trip so much that he wants to tell us all about it – and “all” is what we don’t want to hear. We only want to hear some. What made his trip different from everybody else’s? What can he tell us that we don’t already know?” William Zinsser, On Writing Well
The beach was sandy The waves sloshed steadily in We know! On the beach, from the jagged high-tide mark down to the retreating surf, slumped thousands of jellyfish -- stranded gelatinous blobs. So many it was like walking through an acid-laced-Jello minefield.
Ask yourself: What was most significant? What image struck me as most noteworthy? What moment do I think about when I recall my trip? What did I like best? Why will this place stay with me? Ten years from now, how will I refer to this trip?
“Nowhere else in nonfiction do writers use such syrupy words and groaning platitudes. Adjectives you would squirm to use in conversation – “wondrous,” “dappled,” “roseate,” “fabled,” “scudding,” – are common currency.” William Zinsser, On Writing Well
Fashionable, quaint, pretty, lovely, charming, upscale, idyllic, cozy, colorful, fancy, beautiful… Don't really say anything What they say to you is not necessarily what they say to your reader
Nestled on the edge of the Appalachian foothills, in Adams County, Ohio, a one hour and 15 minute drive from Cincinnati, is one of the most charming Bed and Breakfasts that we have ever visited. First, lets be honest. We are not Bed and Breakfast people. We like fancy hotels with lots of service. We’ve stayed at Bed and Breakfasts on occasion and felt crowded and uncomfortable. But our stay at Murphin’s Ridge Inn has changed our opinion of the Bed and Breakfast experience. This extraordinary inn is surrounded by 140 acres of beautiful country, not far from the Amish community in the area. No matter what the season, the Inn is awash with color. It offers a cozy stopping place in beautiful, natural surroundings.
Now is the time to visit Australia. When it’s summer in the United States, it’s winter in Australia. At this time, prices are less, it’s less crowded and the weather is mild, particularly in sub-tropical Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state. Many travel to Australia, spend time in Sydney and Melbourne, then, maybe, fly northeast to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. But consider visiting Brisbane, third largest Australian city–but with a small- town atmosphere. There is lots to experience, and it’s easy to get around, while Aussie winter temperatures are normally in the seventies.
The dour old woman was straight out of central casting, Mediterranean division: short and stocky, wearing a shapeless black dress and shawl, her gray hair in a bun. As I followed her up the stairs of her narrow stone house outside Dubrovnik's Old Town, I wondered just what kind of room she was renting me. At $50 a night, I couldn't be too picky. Then she threw open the bedroom shutters. Outside the window was a Southern European trifecta: blue sea, red tile roofs, towering cliffs. Gasp-worthy? Absolutely. But along Croatia's Adriatic coast, it's the standard-issue view. Minutes later I joined the mix of locals and tourists at the massive Pile Gate, one of two entrances to Stari Grad, or Old Town. Summers, K.C., “Croatia reborn: The ravages of war over, tourists discover a south European gem.” Denver Post, May 21, 2005.
When I was growing up, Norfolk was not a popular place for tourists – it was a place where people just lived. And it was a kind of rough-around-the-edges seaport city. My friends, Mike and Ilona, who still live in town, like to remind me that there was a monkey at the zoo who’d smoke cigarettes and flip kids the bird. That monkey was the real Norfolk. Berger, Thomas. “Of Time and Tides,” Budget Travel, July/August 2008
For coffee connoisseurs who like their java undercover, Crave Café is the place to be. Nooks lead to crannies that end in cubbies that reveal walk-in closets sheltering a table and chair. The furniture – mismatched couches, tables and chairs – has been battered into comfortable submission. The smoking section is a nest of rooms upstairs in this converted frame house. Ask to see a menu; the boards doesn’t list all of the house specials, such as the Devil’s Frenzy (mocha with cayenne and cinnamon, served very hot). Forbes, Seanan, “Roast of the Town: Coffee Culture is Big Business in Kansas City.” MyMidwest, Nov./Dec. 2007
Find specific examples (small details = big impact) Use more than just your eyes (what do you hear, smell, feel?) Use descriptive verbs
16 Rely on more than just your eyes Count Pick up papers -- maps, brochures, local newspapers and magazines, brochures, postcards, menus, business cards Talk with locals Shop with locals Get into a local’s home Travel more
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