Writing prompts and challenges

Dear Charlie

Dear Charlie.

You don’t know who I am and I don’t know you too well either, but for some reason I felt the urge to write you a letter. I came across a bunch of letters you wrote to a stranger many years ago. Some guy had collected them together and printed them into a book and I had the privilege to read them. I think the guy’s name is Stephen Chbosky, but don’t be mad at him for publishing your private letters. I loved reading them and I know many other people have too.

You’ve went through a lot as a teenager and I can’t ever know exactly how you felt or what it was like to be in your shoes. I know a lot of people, too many people, have gone or are going through the same. To those people it is extremely important and helpful to know that someone knows what they’re going through and they survived and moved on. This is why I hope you won’t get mad at Mr. Chbosky, because I think he just thought your letters would help other people.

It’s been over twenty years since you wrote the letters as a young freshman in high school and I wanted to write you letter to ask how you’re doing. This might seem weird for you and it definitely feels sort of weird for me, but I was very touched by your letters when I first read them and I still leaf through them and think about you every once in a while.

So, I just wanted to see if you’re happy in your life. Well, are you happy? I hope you are. Are you still good friends with Patrick and Sam? Do you still make mixed tapes, or maybe you’re making playlists these days?

I loved all the mixed tapes you wrote about in your letters. I think music and writing are the best ways to deal with inner thoughts. I also think you had a rather great taste in music as a teenager and I was wondering if you still do. I’m always in for finding new music to listen to so don’t be afraid to give me suggestions.

Hopefully you’re doing great and don’t feel too offended by receiving this letter from a complete stranger.

Your’s sincerely,

Charlie is the main character of Stephen Chbosky‘s book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which, in my opinion, is the best book ever written. I was inspired to write this letter by the weekly writing challenge and thought I might as well write a letter to a fictional character to see how it goes.

This week’s weekly writing challenge was about writing letters, not e-mails, but letters; How to start them and how to finish them. I think the beginning and ending depends a lot on who I’m writing the letter to. It would feel way weird to start a letter with “Dear someone” if I was writing it to a complete stranger. I used it with the letter above even though I don’t really know Charlie, but I feel a connection with him by reading his letters, so I felt comfortable using it.

If I was writing a letter to a friend, I would probably start it off with a “Hey!” and end it with simply “Take care” or “See you”. I do think “Your’s sincerely” works pretty well with almost anyone.

The world is too complicated for a single strategy. It depends who I’m writing to.

When was the last time you wrote an actual letter?

With warm hugs and gentle thuds – Keri



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