Don George’s Travel Writing Workshop

Don George adalah seorang travel writer legendaris. Dia adalah kontributor National Geographic dan juga penulis dari Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing adalah sekian dari banyak lagi karya Don yang sudah dipublikasikan. Berikut adalah intisari dari workshop travel writing yang dilakukan di Ubud Writer Festival 2013 dan dikomandoi langsung oleh Don George. Saya hanya menuliskan intisari karena jika menuliskan isi lengkap dari workshop tersebut bisa dibaca langsung di buku Guide to Travel Writing terbitan Lonely Planet.

Walaupun menjadi kontributor Lonely Planet tapi travel writing yang dimaksud Don Gerorge disini bukan model HOW-TO atau model guide book. Don George menitikberatkan pada model travel story. Karya pria berkepala botak dan berkeringat banyak ini bisa dilihat langsung di http://www.don-george.com/ .

Walaupun yang saya share lumayan sedikit tapi langkah dibawah sangat asyik untuk coba diterapkan. Semoga berkenan!

Stages:

Pre-Travel

  • Research: History, culture, key-phrases langguage.
  • Have a skeletal sense what you want to do there
  • Good travel writing is about connection. Good travel writing is about you seeing that person point of view

 

During Travel

  • Try to follow itenerary but also allow people aound you to give sugestion. Ask them: what is the story?
  • Example of essence: what is the escense of Bali (according to people), what is my experience of Bali?
  • The skeletal of the story evolve as travel. Some pre-assumptions can turn to be less important.
  • Info from: brochure, map, etc
  • Focus on the details “small truth illuminates larger truth”. Ex: daylight, details: hot, humid, etc
  • Details are stepping stone on the larger story
  • Use photo to document the details because memories is often foggy
  • Ask yourself: What am i learning here?
  • Notes to the dialogue
  • Don’t get trapped by the visual senses only.

After The Trip

  • What is the goal? What is the steps that led to the goal?

Two types of data: important but not emotional, emotional but not important.

  • Make story crescendo. Climaxing at the end
  • Don’t put the biggest emotion at the beginning
  • The responsibility of travel writer is to educate people to not destroy it

***

Prinsip ini sebenarnya sudah sering diulang Don George di banyak kesempatan. Wawancara dengan Don dengan judul finding a small truth that illuminates the whole truth dan artikel di NatGeo berjudul More Travel Writing Tips from Don George ini contoh bahwa prinsip ini selalu digunakan oleh Don. Contoh penerapan prinsip ini bisa dilihat di tulisan Don berjudul Ko Samui and The Paradise Principle

Now go out and write your own travel story!

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