Letters – a writing prompt for May 26, 2017

Today I throw you one of my favorite prompts, because I love reading these kinds of stories.

The Prompt

Write a story in the form of a series of letters

Tips

  • The ‘letters’ can be anything really: letters, journal entries, found documents, Tweets, Facebook updates…
  • The letters can come from only one person — in which case we hear only one side of the story.
  • The letters might come from various sources and in various time periods.
  • You might mix letters with documentary evidence (school report cards, obituaries clipped from a newspaper, a termination document from an employer).
  • Your writing might be in the form of a ‘gospel’ for a new religious or political cult.
  • This might grow to be a bigger project than you can handle in one day…

May 24 – Epistolary Stories

The Prompt: write a story in letter form

I have an unexplained and abiding love for stories-in-the-form-of-letters, so if you spend any time at StoryADay.org you’re going to see this one again and again, sorry!

The Prompt

Write A Story In Letter Form

Tips

  • This can be a single communication or a series
  • It doesn’t have to be letters. It could be Tweets, Tumblr posts, office-wide memos.
  • The story can unfold from a single author’s point of view, or you can show more than one side of the story, by using multiple authors.
  • If you need inspiration, read famous letters here, here, here or here

Examples::

Handwritten love letters:

Letters from famous authors to young fans

15 Best Resignation Letters

A list of popular Epistolary Novels

(Just don’t spend too much time reading them!!)

GO!

Post a comment at the blog to let us know you’ve written today, or join the community and post in the Victory Dance Group.

[Write On Wednesday] – Write A Letter

dear joe
Photo by Meredith Harris CC Some Rights Reserved

Today’s prompt was suggested by the story I read yesterday, Incognito by Susan M. Lemere.

The Prompt

Write a story in letter form

Tips

  • Use two or more voices, or let us see only one side of the conversation.
  • The ‘letters’ can be email exchanges, text messages, Facebook updates, or imaginary hand-written correspondence from sweethearts separated by war, an ocean, feuding parents…whatever makes sense to you.
  • Try to introduce some mystery, some misunderstanding, or some desire on the part of one of the participants. Frustrate us, tease us, keep us guessing about how it’s going to turn out.

Go!

[Writing Prompt] Epistolary Stories

Breaking with the narrative form again today, after flogging it’s poor dead horse corpse at the beginning of the week. Today we tackle a form for which I have an inexplicable and enduring love: letters!

The Prompt

Write An Epistolary Story (i.e. One Told As A Series of Letters/Documents)

Tips

  • Take the term “Letters/Documents” with a huge pinch of salt. Write a story made up of Tweets, Facebook updates, text messages between friends, comments on a Vine video, an author Q&A, whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Write a ‘story’ as a list (think McSweeneys).
  • Write a mock guidebook to some place you know well (or some experience you’ve been through)
  • Write an open letter to someone your character hates/loves/has a bone to pick with. Consider including a response from their object of scorn/affection/correction.

GO!

What form did you choose? How did it work out for you? Leave a comment or join the conversation in the community.

[Prompt] May 24 – Epistolary

Not quite a POV today, but still playing with character and point of view, today’s prompt is a secret love of mine:

Write an Epistolary Story

I’ve always loved stories played out through letters  – though now you can tell these stories in emails, phone texts, even Facebook updates and Tweets if you want to update the form. (Here’s an example from the very first StoryADay May, written by Amanda Makepeace).

You can write this as a series of exchanges between two or more people, or as letters, diary entries, or text messages from a single person (as in Amanda’s story).

  • What if you discovered a cache of letters in the attic of a house you just bought. What would be in the one-sided conversation?What would be missing?
  • What if you were a 13 year old who has finally got  on to Facebook?
  • What if you were an increasingly-enraged citizen writing letters to the editor of your small-town newspaper?
  • What if you were caught in a flame war in an online forum and all we, the reader, get to see is what goes on the screen?

Go!