Saw this short article on the NY Times site and wanted to share. “Writing in the Here and Now” by Perry Garfinkel. An excerpt below:
There may be no literary genre that, at its best, evokes sense of place more than travel writing. The whole point is to make the reader feel there, not here, to transport proverbial armchair travelers from their dull, quiet living rooms to a cacophony of scarlet macaws clearing their throats deep in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica.
This is why I open every travel writing workshop I’ve led over three decades with a pop quiz:
At the top of a page, write the words ‘Here and now I am’ followed by an ellipsis. In the next five minutes write as many sentences as you can, each sentence beginning with ‘Here and now I am.’ The rules: no questions, no stopping, no thinking, no worries about logic or syntax and no cheating off your neighbor.
If you go blank, draw from your senses — what you see, smell, taste, hear, feel.
Frenzied writing ensues. After five minutes, I instruct the participants to stop, then to reread their scribbles to themselves, painful as it may be, looking for patterns. A few brave ones read them aloud.
Read the whole piece here.