Do you remember writing someone a letter that was not electronic? Writing letters is an art that is almost dying with the advent of email. Good letters are written as a stream of consciousness where the writer explodes thoughts on the page in a form that is very different from writing an essay or answering a question. A letter must convey news, while keeping in mind, the author’s personal involvement as the writer.
Ask one of your parents, your brother or sister, or a friend from school if they will be your pseudo-pen pal. Get some stationery and some stamps and write your friend a letter. Fictionalise a character and imagine a world in which this character lives. What do the trees look like? Does he or she live in the city? How old is he or she? Think about similar questions and answer them before you begin. Then write out a letter addressing the person you are going to write to.
Once you’re done, mail it like you would be mailing someone that lives far away. Then ask the other person to do the same. This way you can keep up a fictional correspondence of characters. You can also include other people along the way. Writing has to do a lot with research. Even the best writers spend a great deal of time on getting to know their subjects. There is a saying in the writing world- Write what you know. However, for young writers who are developing their craft, they must get to know what subjects they like to write about.
Try this exercise where you pick an object like a shoe. Find out how a shoe becomes a shoe i.e. how leather is made and what type of leather is best for shoes. How does it get to a shoe-maker? You get the picture… find out about processes it takes to make the final object and go backwards on the journey it has taken to get where you see it now. You could write a letter to a shoe then.
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