Your character writes a letter to their future self, in today’s StoryADay writing prompt
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!
Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!
Today it’s another post from the archives, one of my favourites. And this time you get a peek into the kind of content the Superstars group gets throughout the challenge– perhaps you’ll be able to join us next time!
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.
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!
Write An Epistolary Story (i.e. One Told As A Series of Letters/Documents)
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.
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?