How can we make an article memorable from the point of view of the reader? Any work of creative nature touches a reader through the emotions it generates. When a reader browses through the article, he will get fascinated if he finds some references in it to what he had felt about the place or had picturised in his mind about it. Even if the description is quite contrary to the perception held by him, he would still read on.Thus, with a view to attract and hold your readers’ attention and stick to his memory, you have to make sure that the articles address the basic human emotions. Link the narratives to these, and you are on your way to becoming a successful Travel writer.
The next important factor that makes a Travel Article memorable is to use word Pictures. Use words that paint pictures of what is described. Colours, shapes, flavours, sounds and smells, are to be described and not just alluded to. A ‘Golden red sky’, better paints the Sun about to set over the horizon, than ’red sky’. The early dawn is better described by the sound of the Cocks heralding the day, the cows mooing in the barns, the little birds merrily chirping in welcome, and so on. A busy market is best described by the cacophony of the vendors, the babble of the customers and so on.
The eerie silence of the grave yard is well painted through the absence of several usual sounds at such a place, that of the bats, the owls, a stray jackal, etc. Here we are actually playing a double game: we are arousing images of the sounds in the minds of the reader, and then referring to the absence of those images in the place under narration.
Say it with pictures:
A Picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words. So, add a picture to your travel article, to produce the maximum impact. It can be a simple stock photograph that shows any aspect of life or historical importance for the place. A Festival celebration or some comic scene in the midst of solemn celebrations, etc. makes a usable picture. Even a plain sunset over a hill or in the distant marine horizon can be a good image.
Carry a camera with you as you travel. Make a plan to photograph every part of your town or village, in every season. Begin with an ‘aim and shoot’ camera, but as you get paid for your articles, invest a part of your income on buying a reasonably good digital camera. Make this purchase only from the income specifically earned from the hobby .This will help you to focus clearly on making the writing and photography a serious occupation. Once you have finished photographing your village /town, arrange the prints in a logical series like” Sunset at…. “,“the bridges in….” etc. Find out if there is a stock photographs dealer in your place or some where close by. You can negotiate for sale of the organized collection of photos, and get a good offer. In these days of Internet, you can explore the World wide market too.
File the photographs in ready to search files, so that you can access them at short notice. Every time you start an article, search for a related picture and keep it in front of you till you finish the article. This is one sure way to make your travel writing vivid. If you do not have one ready, try getting one from the ‘Net.