As a writer, I tell stories but because for me words are the most important part of telling a story—how it sounds, its rhythms and pacing all, to me, enhance the story. Perhaps because for me, words, you see are the thing. With my stories, with my words, I try to create characters and worlds and invite my readers into those worlds and introduce them to the inhabitants of those worlds, my characters.
With three books under my belt, I have also come to understand the value of good editing. All of these combine to make me happy to have Nikolas Baron from Grammarly as my guest blogger. Grammarly is an online editing tool that can help writers ensure they are using grammar and punctuation correctly.
In this blog post Nikolas talks about travel writing but I believe his advice has broader application because we as writers are inviting readers to take a trip with us, to meet new people, travel to new places.
How to Entice a Homebody to Travel
So You’ve Got Yourself a Hermit
Don’t worry if you’re not a traveler. Lots of people are anxious about travel, unsure about booking flights, and scarred from the only yearly vacation to Grandma’s farm. Your homebody isn’t accustomed to hotels, planes, and rental cars and loves their cave or bed or special waffle iron. It’s ok. There’s help on the way! Teach your homebody that traveling, although sometimes stressful, can be a great experience.
Hermits love to sit at home and enjoy their surroundings. They like the spot they’re in and like that there’s a comfort zone with very little change. But you like to travel, see new things, and experience different cultures. As a writer, you have a heads-up. You can use your descriptive talents to your advantage. Even if you don’t live with a homebody, you as a travel writer want to encourage more people to get out of their accustomed environment and try something new. Descriptive writing and using words and senses that hermits love, can encourage any non-traveler to get out of their comfy chair and venture into the world.
Appeal to Their Senses and Emotions
Homebodies like soft, comforting beds, makes of cars that are similar to the ones they drive at home, and room on in airplane seats. They want to feel like they’re at home just in a different place. When you describe something, imagine that you are experiencing it for the first time; many homebodies will be. Think about how they would feel in a bed that wasn’t theirs, a car they’re not used to driving, or sitting next to someone they’ve never met―even a two-hour flight.
Make them feel safe and secure by using words like fluffy, exceptional night’s sleep, quiet, breath-taking views, or homestyle breakfast to describe hotels; ample foot space, short flight time, and courteous and understanding staff for airplane flights; car is a top safety pick, seats are soft and cozy, and gets good gas mileage for a rental vehicle. You want to make sure that you are being honest about what you’re describing, though. You don’t want to falsely appeal to a homebody and then have them worse for wear after the experience. If you’re recommending certain companies or cars, do your research and confirm they are exactly what someone who rarely travels would enjoy.
You can also appeal to their emotions by finding staffs that are more than helpful for weary travelers. I find that having a confident, professional, and overly willing to help staff always makes my trips more enjoyable and I love to travel. If I went to an area I didn’t know and wasn’t sure what to do, I would want to make sure my hotel offered a concierge service to help me find fun things to do. You, as a writer, want the experience to be positive for the traveler so use positive emotional words like exciting, warm, personable, and just like home. Pull them in with images that make them remind them of home yet encourage them to embrace new experiences.
Make it so Good, You Can Taste it
Write your descriptions so the reader can smell, touch, taste, feel, and hear all that the destination has to offer. Make them desire the plush pillows, the fresh scrambled eggs, the extra legroom, the cargo space. Make them want to get the best price at the best time on the friendliest airline. Descriptions are your way of communicating your experience to someone who is uneasy about what you love. Descriptions paint a picture of what the traveler should expect and that can be a powerful tool to convince a hermit to leave the house.
Your articles need to be readable and personable to attract any reader. Stumbling through a travel article especially deters homebodies because they begin to question your assessment of hotels, airlines, and rental cars. The best way is proofreading and a grammar check. I like easy-to-use online software like Grammarly because it not only finds errors that Microsoft Word misses but it learned my style and can make better corrections now. It’s free and when I want to quickly post a blog article, I can run it through Grammarly fast and know it’s ready for publication. Your cleanly written, enticing articles, will make hermits enthusiastic about leaving their cave to experience the world.