?
General info:
Home
Joining
Rules 
How it works
Participation
Too Many Emails?
Formatting
Listserv Settings
Contact Us

Critiquing Lists:
Fiction
Lovestory
Nonfiction
Novels
Poetry
Practice
Script-writing
Child/Young adult

Discussion Lists:
Writing
MarketChat
SFChat

The IWW Blog Writing Advice

Other Topics:
FAQ
LINKS
Our administrators
Other writing lists
Books on writing
IWW History
Showcase of Successes


IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: It's In The Mail

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop(http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: Sun, November 17, 2013
Reposted on: Sun, April 12, 2015

____________

In 400 words or less, have a character write a letter to someone. You need only write one side of the correspondence unless you would like to construct a story or characters through a series of brief notes or memos. The letter can show us an ending or a beginning of something, it can convey good or bad news, could be a plea, a complaint, or even praise.

____________

Perhaps a woman has decided to leave her husband and leaves him a letter. Is she kind or vindictive, angry or sad? Maybe an office manager has decided to fire a clerk and leaves a letter on her desk. Why doesn’t he want to hand it to her personally?

We could perhaps see someone declaring undying love and proposing marriage. Or maybe it’s a letter about a legal matter—a house being repossessed, custody being granted, taxes owed, or a winning Lottery ticket.

Who is writing the letter – what does the style tell us about that person? A child’s letter to Santa would certainly be different from a form letter from the IRS. An angry letter to the editor of a newspaper would be poles apart from a grandma’s letter to the Senior Citizen’s Committee.

____________

In 400 words or less, have a character write a letter to someone. You need only write one side of the correspondence unless you would like to construct a story or characters through a series of brief notes or memos. The letter can show us an ending or a beginning of something, it can convey good or bad news, could be a plea, a complaint, or even praise.

____________

In your critique of this exercise, consider what the style and language of the letter tells the reader about the person writing it and the person receiving it. Try to imagine receiving such a letter. What would your reaction be?


Web site created by Rhéal Nadeau and the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.