Letter Me This, Letter Me That

Ah, a book written of these...

No, not like writing a letter, but epistolary writing.  I’ve fallen in love with this style of writing, where the book is all done in letters of some form.  My first experience with this type of writing was Anne of Windy Populars by L.M. Montgomery.  I can’t say I was that thrilled with it. I thought it quite dumb  to have a book all in letters.

Ah, how wrong I was.

Then I read The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.  It is the second book in a three book trilogy by the two authors.  Written in both letters and journals of the two women characters, Cecelia and Kate, cousins who are on their honeymoon together as they travel across Europe after Napoleon has been defeated, the book revolves around sorcery and magic and mystery.

The amazing art and letters of 'Griffin and Sabine'

Suffice to say I was hooked.  Next came the first book, Sorcery and Cecelia which was strictly all letters.  Since then I’ve read the third and fallen in love with the three books by Nick Bantock dealing with letters and postcards written back and forth between Griffin and Sabine.  Unique in every aspect, these books are somewhat fantasy.

Well, after reading all these epistolary books, I want to write my own.  I love writing letters to my friends, and I am very much the email person.  Oh, I forgot, I read Meg Cabot’s book that was done all in emails!  So, letters are my thing, and I would love to write a book with it done all in letters.  I would especially love to write a novel with someone else where our letters back and forth are that of the characters, like how Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer wrote their trilogy.

See, if you have one person writing a character’s letter to another writer doing the same, you get a definite different voice.  And voice is all important with creating characters you can relate to.  For instance, I relate much more to the character of Kate, in the trilogy books.  Caroline Stevemer wrote ‘Kate” and she is much more of who I am like, whereas Cecelia is very very different. 

After watching the music video of Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out”, I’d love to incorporate a séance into the story, with this girl in a 1920’s style setting.  After reading the Wikipedia story on the music video I want to incorporate it even more.  The visual effects brought the idea to light.

On 3 October 2011, the video for “Shake It Out” premiered on the band’s official YouTube channel. It features Welch wearing a red gown and singing while attending a 1920s-era masked ball, invoking references to works such as Eyes Wide Shut, The Great Gatsby and The Lady of Shalott. Welch described the video saying, “Think of a psychedelic 1920s dress party with a demonic twist. Possession meets The Great Gatsby.” She further described the direction of the video “We were kind of going for a sort of ‘Gatsby at West Egg’-style house party but with maybe slightly ritualistic and sort of satanic undertones and séances. That was such a fun video to shoot, for me especially, because I had all my friends down there, and they all came and we all got to dress up and do a casual séance in this beautiful art-deco mansion. It’s basically a party house; there’s one room which was purely just for cutting flowers.

Isn’t that great?  I mean, wow, you can really invoke some images from that and run with it.  I even decided the girl (cause there is always a girl heroine) has to have an Aunt Louise who is really into séances and invites all her friends to have parties where they hold different ones to contact some important person. 

I don’t know right now.  This is just all ideas I have played around with for ages.  Mostly the writing part, not the new things with séances and such.   Food for thought, as always.

Now to just find another writer that I can mesh with to write the other character’s letters…….Hmmm

Finally another book I highly recommend written in this style is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (2008) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It has become one of my favorites, and it is very well written.

Writing on



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