The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.
My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.
a novel written as a series of documents.
- Documents can be letters, journal entries, emails, transcripts, police reports, chats–anything that’s a document and is transmitted to others. Popular document choices are journals, letters, and diaries (see the list of popular books) but don’t limit yourself to those obvious choices.
- Pick documents that fit your writing style. For example, if you love dialogue, tell the story with chats.
- Make it clear who is writing the document and why. Then, stay in their POV. Don’t jump into omniscient.
- Do change POVs via a change of documents that represent the new person’s POV.
- Information may be difficult to convey in an epistolary but rise to the challenge. Show your writer chops.
- You can mix tenses because you’re mixing documents.
- Time gaps are important in this genre. Because the communication is so authentic and real, there will be times the character doesn’t have time to write. That’s OK.
- Epistolary writing doesn’t have to be fiction but that’s what I focus on in this post.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Lady Susan by Jane Austen
- Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
- Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede
- The Martian by Mark Watney
- Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
- We Germans by Alexander Starritt
- The Problem with Uncle Teddy’s Memoir by Ed Charlton
More E Genres:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.