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How To: The Art of the Love Letter
Posted by daria_4 on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:24 AM PST

Experiences
A good love letter can take many forms, but certain elements will make good into unforgettable for your reader. Don’t make the mistake of thinking love letters are only for the monogamous—just be sure to be fair handed and original if writing letters for multiple people in one big relationship. Love letters are also not exclusively for those who are head over heels in love. If done in the right tone and with lighthearted language, an appropriate “Love” letter can be drafted in a new relationship in which no one has even uttered the L-word yet.

The Opening

The Opening sets the tone for the rest of your letter, so though it is short, don’t discount its importance. If you have an applicable pet name for someone, by all means, go ahead and use it—but only if it’s a name your intended recipient actually likes and/or acknowledges. If you prefer to use the person’s given name, there are a couple of choices to make before setting your pen to paper (yes, paper—I highly recommend pen and paper over keyboard and monitor for this sort of thing). When someone’s given name lends to a shortened version (William/Bill or Elizabeth/Lizzy), the short name will work well with the traditional “Dear Bill/Lizzy,” while the longer sounds more romantic with “My Dearest William/Elizabeth.” Love letters can be written for any stage of a relationship, so don’t assume the most romantic option is the best one simply because of what you’re writing.

Yearning

Telling your beloved (or very befriended) what you yearn for is a must-have for a great love letter. So what do you want? Can you hardly wait to hold her in your arms again? Are you waiting impatiently just to chill out on the couch and watch movies with him after a long day at work? Are you excited about the concert you have two great tickets for this weekend? Are you looking forward to the next time you get to just be in the same room with him? Whatever it is you’re yearning for, let your reader know.

Fantasy

You don’t have to be a skilled smut writer for this part of your letter. The Fantasy is a versatile creature—it can stand apart within your love letter as an elaborate story or it can be folded into whatever you Yearn for. The sky is the limit when it comes to your fantasy; whether it be a reality-based daydream (your upcoming trip to the mountains) or the stuff that dreams are made of (an elaborate love scene in an Elizabethan setting).

Confession

No, you don’t have to come clean about some skeleton in your closet. Confess something, anything about your reader and her effect on you or your life. Tell her about the fact that you should be taking notes in a meeting, but instead you’re writing this one. Admit you had a naughty dream about him lastnight. If you care to go into the details of said dream, you’ve got your Fantasy right there. Write about the way you’ve been replaying your first kiss in daydream for the last three days. Your confession doesn’t have to be anything big, just something that your reader will appreciate.

Closing

You practically can’t go wrong with your closing as long as you’re sensitive to the relationship. You can go fun and flirty with XOXOXO. The traditional “Love,” is good (if the L-word has been used before, that is). Shortening “Yours Truly” to “Yours” leaves room for interpretation—it’s something I’ve used quite a bit in the beginning part of relationships, when we weren’t up to the L-word but knew it was getting serious. “All My Love” is a great close for the romantically oriented love letter. There are too many choices to list for possible Closings--use your imagination! Whatever rule you used for addressing the recipient would probably be best for your signature—pet names, nick names, or full names. The Closing, like the Opening is a simple way to maintain the tone of your letter.

The Rest

Don’t write beyond your capabilities grammatically and all will be well. It’s better to use simple sentence structure and make sense than vice versa. There is no set order for the great love letter components, though Openings generally do best at the beginning and Closings at the end. You might be wondering about Adoration. While it’s not necessarily out of place in a Love Letter, odes to how his eyes rival the blue of the seas or how her hair is the beautiful color of midnight do best in a Sonnet, which is another animal entirely. Don’t feel pressured to write the most romantic thing ever. As long as you’re honest and tailor your love letter to your relationship and its goings on, your reader will find it romantic. The best love letter I ever got was from an electrical engineer who hates English and grammar. I thought he would never write anything, but his simple effort meant more to me than the three pages of flowery language my college girlfriends were jealous of. He didn't try to be all fancy about it, and as it turned out, he has a better grasp of the english language than he thought.
Go on; surprise someone with a love letter. Whatever you do, have fun with it.



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Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by Schizo (Aranea@Spidersdance.com)
on Oct 07, 2004 - 03:12 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://
Thanks, Daria, and good advice! I think I'll go write one to my boy tonight - he's been good and has been working too hard and getting all stressed. He deserves a pick-me-up (maybe in more ways than one!)


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by Devin (devin-at-vibechild-dot-com)
on Oct 07, 2004 - 03:16 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://devin.vibechild.com/
This is a great article. You can really write when you set your mind to it. You should set your mind to it more often.

Other people should set thier minds to it too.


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by daria_4 (-)
on Oct 08, 2004 - 07:57 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
*blushing* Thank you, Devin. Oddly enough, the idea for this article came to me while I was standing the midwatch (midnight-4am). I started writing it on the back of a piece of paper I found in the podium at the quarterdeck.
I was thinking about how much sheer experience we have on this site and how many great How-To-ish articles there are... then I realized there was something I'm actually experienced enough at to write about, too. :)

Schizo, I'm sure your letter will be great. I hope it's just what your boy needs.


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by Shade (Shade@Gothcult.com)
on Oct 08, 2004 - 02:47 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.hotelshade.com
That was a great How-to, nice and simple, and for me it was nice because the more I write, the more I fall into the trap of feeling like everything I write has to be up to the same level of skill. And there is nothing so horrifying as trying to hand write a love letter that you have typed, proofread, spell checked, re-proofread, etc...

It's always nice to be reminded that the sentiment makes a lot of difference and that it is better to write it and hand it over than to spend three weeks agonizing over the love letter only to give up and leave the object of your affections none-the-wiser.


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by forigner (fatmanbob1223@yahoo.com)
on Oct 10, 2004 - 07:49 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://groups.msn.com/wastedyouthpoetry
first, ive been bitched at a little for not posting or taking enough part here. im sorry. but... if every article was like this and i was here more often i would post everyday sometimes twice beautiful article well written and know that i will be taking this advice to heart..have my thanx


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by Moinlen_Drigenu (-)
on Oct 12, 2004 - 12:11 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
good stuff...i might have to give it to this girl i know...:D


Re: e0love
by Domkitten (saradevil@saradevil.com)
on Oct 12, 2004 - 08:04 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.saradevil.com
I am really gald that you mentioned that emails are not the way to go with a good love letter. I mean anything is more romantic then the cold glowing stare of the monitor....


Re: The Art of the Love Letter
by NE_laconic (tjwenner@yahoo.com)
on Oct 08, 2005 - 05:50 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
Do you think this may work?

Glossy eyes unfocused upon the path, leisurely gate maintained by instinct alone. One Single noun fresh upon my lips, inner monologue pulled from the throat by subconscious passion. Spoken to myself, reveling in the richness of the sound, the beauty of the meaning. One simple syllable, spoken slowly into a cadence of brilliance. Defying masterful prose my fingers and tongue fail to convey the depth, the origin of the rhythmic radiance. Confounded as I am to describe, definitions paltry answer is devoid of meaning without the angelic visage suspended in time and burned into my mind. Choking upon vile inflections of vivacity, cleansed by mystical utterance of my truest supplication. Striding into the maw of Hell itself, flesh blistering, imps talons ripping, foul pestilence filling anguished lungs, “Daria” parts the veil of pain, and illuminates my eyes with a smile from my fondest thought.

I was thinking about this today as I walked to work in the rain. The gate does seem to be the mouth of Hell, and I did find myself saying your name out loud. I’m probably like every man that wants to share a portion of the brilliance you bring to life, I have an insatiable craving to be as special to you as your are to me, and that aspiration must be tempered by cognitive thought that occasionally eludes me. Very few things in life are worth unrelenting thought, the tickle in the back of your mind as a constant reminder of its presence. It can be exhausting, but in every sense of phrase, you are worth it to me. I absolutely love you Daria, I love you absolutely.

Do you think it too mushy? I know you could sub your name for another if you so chose, change a few words around, and it could fit any name that brings meaning to a meandering soul. I can think of another name, two syllables, but that is neither here nor there. The most important thing about it, as you said, it's honest, the words were compelled to dance from my fingers. Again, I hope you like it luv.

NE_Laconic


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