Writing Wonder: Letter to a Friend

This writing exercise teaches you how to skip the preamble and background detail, which you so often don’t have room for in a flash story, and head directly into the intimate detail that makes the story most interesting.

  1. Think of a significant personal event that you shared with a good friend or family member.
    Perhaps a road trip, a reunion, or a class? Maybe a party, a performance, or a job?
  2. Write down a few phrases that capture the experience for you; how you felt about it, the environment, anything important your friend said, what your life was like at the time, etc.
  3. Write a letter to your friend about the event.
    –  Free-write the first draft with no concern about length, sentence structure, spelling, or rambling.
    –  The best part about this is you can leave out the where, when, who, and explanatory details
    because your friend already knows them.
    –  Focus on the memories of your experience; what made it significant for you, your emotions
    and insights,any changes that came about because of the event, etc.
  4. Hone the letter into a flash story. You might need to drop the letter format, maybe not.
    See What makes a flash story? and 11 editing tips for help.


Try out more writing exercises

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Categories: writing exercises


  1. What makes a flash story? | FlashMemoirs - May 1, 2014

    […] Having to fill in some blanks makes the story more engaging for readers and saves space. See the Letter to a Friend writing exercise for help with […]

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