I think I’ve talked about this before on here, but I’ve always had a habit of writing letters I’ll never send. Sometimes I do it out of basic boredom, other times I do it to contextualize my feelings. Most of the time I do it because I’m too shy and silly and scared to tell secrets to someone other than my Macbook.
I stumbled across this particular letter today while looking for a different document and it resonated with me. I wrote it when I was 18, a freshman in college, blinded like a lost moth swimming around a porch light. I wrote it to a good friend of mine, who happened to be my then-boyfriend’s best friend, about the feelings I happened to be experiencing at the time.
Looking back at it now is almost like watching myself predict my own future. The confusion I was experiencing, the simultaneous longing and fearing change, would all end up shaping the remainder of my college experience - and, ultimately, shaping the way I look at love.
It would take another year and a half for me to break up with that boyfriend. The friend was long gone by that point. Oh well. Maybe in another life.
The letter is below. Names are fictitious.
Signed up for NaNoWriMo :)
One of the many reasons I love the month of November.
Maybe if I stuck to one story at a time, I would actually have finished a novel by now.
For your enjoyment, if you’re bored.
Or for your unenjoyment, depending on how you feel about it.
Tomorrow, my class reviews the imitation story I wrote last week. It’s anonymously posted, so no one knows it’s my piece, but I’m still terrified.
I have no problem posting my work online. I also have no problem receiving criticism for the work I post. But there’s something about hearing or watching someone read something of mine out loud that makes me feel so vulnerable and overwhelming open.
Maybe I’ll skip class.
I finished an author imitation piece I wrote for one of my classes. It’s not a writing style I’m used to pursuing, so I want some opinions as to whether or not I pulled it off.
The story is in the Read More, if you would be so inclined to read it and let me know a couple things:
1. Can you tell me the timeline of events?
2. Can you tell me what has actually happened in this story?
Thanks in advance, literary lovers.
I’ve chosen to imitate Alice Munro. I’m particularly inspired by her short story “Vandals.”
Trying to master time like she does is proving to be very difficult.
This goes back to a few weeks ago when I posted about wanting to delve deeper into character development in the pieces I’m working on. Let me know what you think.
With finals and everything going on, I’m quite stressed. For my own mental health I do set aside some time each day to write, but I don’t know where to go once I sit down in front of my notebook or laptop. I haven’t felt really confident in anything I’ve written in quite a while.
But I think I have a strategy to fix that. I’m trying to focus on fiction writing as opposed to poetry lately, and I think one thing that could really help my problem is emphasizing character development.
The three major pieces I’m working on right now have leading characters that I feel are incomplete. So, I’m going to correct that. I’m asking personal questions about these characters to deepen their stories: What is most important to them? How do they feel about the future? Do they believe in God? Do they believe in love? What do they think about as they fall asleep at night?
I think it’s a really helpful, relaxing exercise as a writer. If you have any questions you wish you knew about your personal favorite fictional character, let me know. I’d love more suggestions on what to consider for developing my writing.