|I'm Tallin You|
I'll never describe Estonia as 'quaint'
#1: Avoid cliches like the plague. The Danish in Copenhagen isn't the best thing since sliced bread (since when is sliced bread so great, anyway, I wonder?) When was the last time you really felt like a kid in the candy store? And unless you are trying out a carousel, you don't give things a whirl.
#2: Avoid words you never use when talking. I'm talking iconic, quaint, and rustic.
#3: Just to prove that I am not overly persnickety, I'll allow one quaint or iconic per article. But never, ever use luxe or azure, for sure.
#4: That the grass is green is not newsworthy. That the beach is sandy is not newsworthy. Don't include useless and/or redundant adjectives. Keep it pithy, people.
#5: Can a city boast? Apparently, it can, as "Chicago boasts the best deep-dish pizza in the world" and "Honolulu boasts grand luxe hotels, sandy beaches, and azure skies." But IMHO, a place cannot boast.
#6: Is Albania the next Italy? I don't think so. But some travel writers do. "The next...." is not merely cliched writing; it is also somewhat pejorative if you think about it (i.e.--the next best thing to sliced bread....but it ain't no slice of bread).
#7: Don't trash the locals or local customs just for the heck of it. If you do, as in this piece I did for National Geographic Traveler that literally trash talks Albania, provide context and balance.
#8: Maybe it's me, because I simply abhor chick-lit. Articles about your journey of self-discovery are usually a yawn, even to your closest friends. My best advice is to circumvent this form of literary litany. An aside--why is it that 99 out of 100 of self-confessional, self-delusional pieces are written by women?
#9: Never, never, never use the term "something for everyone" in your writing. It's lazy, it's annoying (to me, anyway) and it's simply not true. Don't you be telling me Des Moines has something for everyone. For example, if you are a surfer, where's the beach? New York City doesn't have something for everyone. If you are a climber, try finding a mountain to scale in Manhattan (skyscrapers don't count). Heck, even Sydney, the best city in the world (again, IMHO), doesn't have something for everyone. For example, if you are an astronomer, you can't see the Big Dipper and vast parts of Ursa Major in the Australian night sky. But you can pet a koala.
Which brings me to one more parenthetical point. You can pet a koala, but you can't pet a koala bear. Koalas are marsupials, not bears. Put that in your pouch and ponder. And one more point that may save your life one day: If you want to pet a koala, don't do so by awakening it from a eucalyptus-induced stupor. I can tell you from experience... this not a good idea. A koala awakened abruptly from its languor is a vicious animal. But that's a story to be chronic