Sometimes when we are writing characters we forget how much they change, not just in the course of our stories, but in the course of their (fictional) lives.
Today, go back to last week’s story (What If by Leslie Stack) and imagine your character at the moment before everything started to go wrong, before the thing they regret and wished they could fix.
Have that younger version of your character write a letter to their future self, 10 years hence. (Your character might do this because they are given an exercise in a writing class, a leadership seminar, or it could be inspired by hitting a life milestone, a birthday or graduation, or even by reading an article like this: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/apr/22/futureme-email-from-myself-life-advice).
What do they hope for their future self? What can you include (knowing what you know, from that earlier story) that will be bittersweet or amusing or ironic? What do they expect their life to be in 10 years?
And just to keep things interesting, like Wilfred in that link above, keep the letter to 280 words.
Julie Duffy is the founder & director of StoryADay. She writes stories and used to be famed among her far-flung friends, for writing epic letters. If you’d like to receive electronic letters from her, on the topic of writing, make sure you’re signed up at StoryADay!
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