Thursday, June 19, 2014

Epistolary Style

The epistolary story consists of letters written from one character to another or moves between characters.  The convention of the story may also include that of a monologue spoken aloud by one character to another.

The variations include the narrator speaking in intimate confessional to a friend or lover.  Or, he may present his case to a jury or a mob.  The narrator could pour out his heart in a love letter that he knows
(and we know) he will never send.

This style is the opposite of what's employed in a story told to the reader.  The listener as well as the teller becomes involved in the action.  Readers become eavesdroppers with all the ambiguous intimacy that position entails.

With email, Twitter and blogs so popular these days, not many individuals exchange letters of length and substance.  Many novels have used the epistolary form. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner reveals the benefits.

When you write a sketch based on the epistolary form, choose either monologue or a series of letters between friends.

Select one idea or create your own.

 l.  The narrator is concerned about the choice he made to sell property that had been in the family for  years.

2.  Develop four letters among friends attempting to settle an argument.  First letter details the problem. The second responds to it. The third attempts reconciliation. The last letter puts it to rest or leaves it unresolved.

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