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User:Kurkoski/Sandbox 4

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Warning This is a disorganized work in progress.

Contents

Paraphrasing Wikitravel Goals[edit]

Wikitravel:Goals_and_non-goals The Wikitravel goals are actually about who the readers are. Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. Wikitravel should not only be these things, but it should be interesting to read as well. The word useful is rather vague, but it implies that a poorly written guide won't attract many readers.

  • Wikitravel:wikitravellers Wikitravellers are people who contribute to Wikitravel. Writers and re-writers are all Wikitravellers. The base of people who read Wikitravel may be broader than those write for it. As such, the Wikitravel writers must accomodate a wide audience, to make Wikitravel appealing and useful to as many people as possible, so that these people will become contributors themselves.

It seems like some important points about Wikitravel are buried in the pages.

  • The Traveller Comes First The content of Wikitravel should be useful to the traveller, and unbiased. It should share the excitement that Wikipedians have about travelling.

Wikitravel:Ways_to_help_Wikitravel

Wikitravel:Ways_to_promote_Wikitravel

A few more points for readers and writers Wikitravel:Copyleft

Wikitravel is authorative. This is manifestied in policies which limit adding links to external secondary sources. It also gives writers license to be authoratative; terms such as well-known or referring to what is stated in other guide books is inappropriate.

Manual of Style Beefs[edit]

As a writer, I would find it far more useful if there were language/country specific pages for romanization Wikitravel_talk:Romanization. Also, a country-specific page could include address/phone number formatting guides.


On Travel Prose[edit]

I enjoy writing, this is one of the major reasons that I contribute to Wikitravel. An effective piece of travel prose gives the reader useful information. It should be factually correct, and if possible be interesting to read, particularly if there is something to exciting to share.

  • Respect your reader's intelligence, assume little about the reader's knowledge
  • Good travel writing is descripitive. But it is not necessary to make recommendations on what someone should do. Good writing provides the reader with enough information so that he or she can decide the best course of action.
  • Report only the facts, particularly if those facts include your opinion. Wikitravel:Neutral_point_of_view This is excellent advice, Call a spade a spade. However, this advice is not license to state an opinion about everything you write. Most good travel writing is largely descriptive, and opinions have the most force when they are used sparingly.
  • Stay positive, avoid using the word "not" to describe was something isn't, describe what it is. Avoid making comparisons. Good writing can describe something for its own merits.
  • Wikitravel should be useful for every type of traveller. This should be reflected not only in the writing style, but also in the topics that are covered. Writing style means that you shouldn't turn off any particular reader with condecending or offensive writing. Writing topics means being inclusive: include a sight off the beaten track, because someone who's seen all the major sights may want to see it. Include not only the adult admission price, but the one for children and seniors, too.
  • Write an effective article: who is your reader? The hardest part about writing an article is know who is reading, and what they don't know. The writer has to choose from quite a large amount of knowledge to decide what to put into the article.

The safest way to avoid problem with copyright is to create all content yourself. This article contains suggestions for people writing such content.

Minor points

Good writing is an excellent defense to protect your work. "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit here." There will be little reason for someone to re-write your work if it is well written from the start. Writing good prose is not easy, and a rare talent can do it in one pass. A newspaper writer once told me that he spent about half of his time writing the first paragraph of an article. Of course, the first paragraph is important to draw in the reader, but the point here is that good prose is the product of writing and re-writing.

  • Write from personal experience. Follow the fiction writer's mantra, write what you know.
  • Write concisely.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Write a good restaurant review: there is no copyright on adjectives.
  • Become a good writer by reading. I like to read the New York Times travel section, which is available on-line.
  • Become a good writer by writing. And by re-writing your own work. I develop my submissions on my User page, I come back to my work a few days later to re-read and evaluate what I have written, making changes. I repeat this process until I am satisfied, and then copy the work to Wikitravel proper. This re-writing procedure could be done directly on the Wikitravel page; I prefer my User page because the sequence of "prose edits" becomes public in the page's history.
  • Don't impress the reader with your command of the English language. Good writing is always a product of accurate descritions, rather than obscure words.

Respect the reader's intellegence, and the reader's ability to make thier own decisions. Consider this:

Some shops take credit cards, but it's not recommended to use them since a small percentage is added to the transaction (usually 2%).

Of course credit cards have a few advantages that the shopper may be willing to pay for. An improvement:

Some shops take credit cards, but a small percentage, around 2%, may be added to the transaction.
  • Be precise as possible, but only if it is relevant to the reader. Don't write marketing literature.
Lake Victoria is one of the biggest lakes in the world

Actually, it is the third largest, for surface area.

  • Respect everyone. I am a recovering hardcore geek, so I don't take any offense at this sentance which sounds condescending:
Heaven for the hardcore do-it-yourself electronics geek.

Better:

? ug
If you have a spiritual nature and think that watching the sun rise from the top of a 10,000 foot mountain will be a memorable experience for you, do the sunrise trip. If you're the practical type and feel like you've seen enough sunrises, get a good night's sleep and take the later trip.  Maui

The traveller can make her own decisions about her waking time:

If you are willing to get up at 2 am, the sunrise from the top of a 10,000-foot mountain is spectacular.

Phrases[edit]

Exported ambiance (referring to Irish pubs not in Ireland).

Thesaurus[edit]

  • Expensive Upscale.

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