Writing letters in a 'Conversational Style' ?

Comments in some good Forum Topics

....can bring up great ideas.

For example, this one, posted on our Slowly subReddit by LoseFirst00, asked :

My letters average around 800-900 words and that’s me saying a lot. What do people who write 2000-4500 words actually say in a letter?
Like how do they fill up so much content. It makes me feel so boring not being able to reach that word limit

Which received an excellent reply (by Spassus)

Usually just a lot of topics being discussed at the same time. Also telling personal stories relating to some question or topic can get pretty long as well.

But you shouldn't try to inflate the letter for the sake of length, nor should you feel bad about not writing super long letters :) Often times less is more.

And others chimed in as well

From the original topic poster, averageineverythin :

Better advice than this doesn't exist !

...who appreciated Spassus's comment. As did I. 🙂

Also added my own comments

Here, starting with a small quote from one of topic's responses.

we just keep talking about the previous topic in details like you will talk in a real life conversation and not end a particular topic and add a new thing each letter.

Yes, that's it – I use the same 'conversational style' when writing my letters, and enjoy doing it. The text flows, and the readers are usually pleased with them.

I write in the same way that I would be phrasing things, if I was chatting with a friend sitting in the sofa here, right across from me.

And I am not a big fan of the 'Questions and Answers' format, which can be time consuming for the recipient.

Conversational Style when writing letters ?

My comment above generated a reply by LilKittyWinks with some good questions – and I thought of collating this topic so more of our SLOWLY users can see them. I think they are important, maybe helpful?

Can you explain more about this writing style?

Yes, I can.

The basic idea is to write the text like if you had the other person sitting near you. Think a relaxed setting, I usually write on the sofa on my living room, and I would imagine the reader as a quiet listener; sitting in the loveseat across from me, or one of the other chairs.

My writing is intended to register how I would tell them the story, or news, or situation that my letter is describing.

Did a quick search and found some good suggestions in this article: '7 Tips for Writing Conversationally', copied here for you.

7 Tips for Writing Conversationally

Good conversational writing creates an immediate connection and doesn’t waste your reader’s time.

Source : Masterclass.com, How to Write Conversationally – 7 Tips for Writing Conversationally

LilKittyWinks also had other questions...

She also asked :

Do your conversations on certain topics never really end then? Do they just dwaddle off? I'm currently writing around 1k long letters but I feel like it's disappointing and short for my pen pals.

The conversations could change directions, as each letter is a response to the other person's. We react, and respond to things they mentioned in their letters, new developments, perhaps, which you feel like commenting on.

We don't need to keep the same topics open in all letters, the contents are dynamic.

Read and reply immediately

I like to read their new letter and respond to it immediately. I feel this is the best response I can provide, as the impressions their letter caused are fresh and my response writing flows easier with these impressions being really lively.

Really fear reading various letters and then having 10 of them accumulated, lots of pending replies to be written. A bad idea, I imagine it would become a chore them as the original impact has worn off, the memory of the letter content might have dimmed. I would need to re-read the letter before I could even try to reply.

So, I find it more productive to just avoid this all together – by sticking to my own rule of 'reading only if I am ready and willing to write a reply, right after'.

Ideal letter size ranges?

I find the 1,000 Words size perfect, it's my goal when writing a letter to a pen pal friend who uses the Slowly web client. If I know the other person is a mobile device user, they would probably be better off with a shorter, easier to read and reply letter – in this case I reduce my goal to 500 Words.

The word count is a guideline, when I am deep in a letter I don't look at the count unless I think it might be getting long – which happens in fact. If that is the case, I will mention the length and send my final greetings, close the letter and send it.

So — 1,000 word letters are not short, they are a good size for a lot of people, they can convey a lot. Write longer if you feel like it, and if both you and your penpal don't mind the time it takes to process at each end.

Hope this helps! 🙂👍

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