An online society of people who love to write about beautiful places in the world? Of course I’m interested in joining Maptia! This blog is a compendium of far-flung stories and posts across the globe, zooming in on those micro moments which flavor the air of other nations. People share adventure stories hiking summits or the open road, celebrating new and old customs, dining on exotic culinary creations and more. They even have a globe you can explore by clicking on the location then reading stories related to that location.
It’s a young group – only started in September of 2012 or 2013 in Switzerland – so they are developing their platform to support more travelers/writers. A few writers already have stories available – like “The Penguin Runner” set in Namibia and “A City of Bright Colours” set in Morocco. There’s a whole world out there!
It’s a global crowdsourcing effort, where people toss their stories together like pennies to a well. In order to make sure those pennies gleam like newly burnished copper instead of going green and gross, Maptia provides 13 tips for telling stories about places:
- Pick a place that means something to you.
- Keep it personal.
- Be original.
- Write vividly.
- Focus on the details.
- Choose photographs that tell a story.
- Use different vantage points.
- Write a colourful description to introduce your story.
- Show, not tell.
- Go the extra mile.
- Be selective.
- Read other people’s stories.
- Enjoy the process.
Whether writing about places or fiction, these 13 rules hold true, I’m thinking.
I may hearken back to earlier travels, the days when friends and I traveled through Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos…so many stories there that I’ve kept inside.
Or, this weekend, a few friends and I are going to explore the mountains of Western North Carolina, and I may attempt to write a short story guided by those 13 rules. Let’s see how it goes!
Either way, writing and exploration go hand-in-hand, whether the exploration is of the soul or of the planet.