Creative Writing using the Epistolary Form

Time to flex your creativity muscles and create a short piece of fiction. Write a short story based either on a letter or series of letters or by utilizing the epistolary form. This can be a diary, journal, letters, story around a letter or letters, etc. You have a variety of models offered in class and in our library guide.

Here are some resources that might be helpful in writing a short story:

Epistolary form adds a sense of realism to a narrative piece of fiction, as it imitates life and its real workings. This form allows the writer to describe different points of view. The primary function of this form of writing is that readers can get an intimate view of the characters’ feelings and thoughts and develop a direct connection with the events through letters, journal entries, diaries, blog posts, etc. This technique can make the literary piece a real experience for the readers. It also shows how the presentation of events from different points of view can give a story believability and authenticity as well as more dimension. In addition, it also allows the writer to explore topics like oral history, what the withheld can do, suspense, the power of a good or bad narrator, and appropriate use of first and second-person narrative. This will help students develop character, consider how form contributes to storytelling, and what elements add to a sense of realism, all of which help readers suspend their disbelief.

How long should your short story be? Short stories can range anywhere from 1,000 words to about 30,000 words but typically fall more into the range of 1,000-10,000 words. Many publications will only publish short stories between 3000–5,000 words. Writing that is less than 1,000 words is categorized either as flash fiction or micro-fiction. While I will not impose a set range on your writing, let’s keep our stories to the 1,000-5,000 word range and use what you need to tell your story. This would be equivalent to 2-12 pages of 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins.

You can also include images, change/stylize your fonts, or use other visual techniques if it is helpful in telling your story.

For this assignment, you are required to meet with Annalise, and will be included in the overall grade. Meetings with Annalise for this assignment should take place the week of October 29. 

Please post your story on your website, to include the ‘FYS183’ category, but also tag it appropriately. 

Due:  November 2, post your URL in Canvas by midnight.