Although it's a dying art, writing letters is still most definitely an art. Making them interesting requires a little craft, a little consideration and a touch of creativity.
Do a bit of prep work, as you would for any piece of art.
Gather preceding correspondence with your pen pal, photos or news stories, bits of poetry, recipes, sketches, even scraps of material or pressed flowers - whatever would be of interest.
Decide on your materials. Will your letter be on traditional stationery, or will you use graph paper, sketchbook paper, musical scoring or a card of some sort?
Consider telling the news in an interesting manner, such as in a poem or song.
Keep the journalism rules in mind for a straight read: who, what, where, when and why.
Keep your recipient in mind. If he's a fashion-oriented person, describe what Aunt Jewel wore to the Bar Mitzvah, or the feel of the cashmere sweater you just bought. If she's a musician, describe the sidewalk aria you heard.
Include pictures, if you have them. Each is worth a thousand words - even if it's a bit fuzzy.
Remember that what elevates a good letter to greatness is often analysis of the facts. For example, "His face told me so much more than his words. I felt he was being sincere for only the second time in our lives."
Reference a past letter if you're answering questions or continuing a saga. "Yes, as a matter of fact I did go to medical school as a result of your advice."
Always date a letter, and note the time and weather if the recipient is in another climate, time zone or country. They might keep it forever.
- Make certain to number pages for clarity. Use the computer/typewriter or ink for ease of legibility, and don't write on both sides of a thin piece of note paper.
- A handwritten letter is a wonderful, personal touch - if your handwriting is legible.
- Form letters are cold and impersonal, especially computer-oriented ones.
Items you will need
- Personalized Stationery
- Plain Stationery
- Writing Papers
- Writing Pens
- Oxford English Dictionary On CD-ROM
- couple image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com