On Writing Well - Study Guide Part III: Chapter 13 Writing About Places: The Travel Article Summary & Analysis

William Zinsser
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Describing a place is another major writing task for a nonfiction writer. The danger of this is falling into cliches and missing the whole point. The writer can take several approaches in describing a place, but the two overall methods are going within to find how the place impacts the writer and going outside to find how the place impacts others. Either way, a unique perspective should be developed. This is especially important for places that have often been written about.

Writers should concentrate on style and substance, according to Zinsser. Cliche words should be avoided, as should cliche details. All beaches, for example, have sand, rocks, surf, and seagulls. If the beach has something else out of the ordinary, that is good writing material. All cities have streets and buildings...

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