Thanks to the internet, communication is much faster and easier. Instant messages, video messages, e-mails, all of this made us leave paper and pen in the drawer. But none of these options are as personal as a good old handwritten letter. Do you have a friend who lives far away and wants to show that you care a lot about him and are missing him so much? Why not send a letter?
Part 1 of 3: Starting the Letter
Step 1. Think about her purpose
There are several reasons to write to a friend. You might be catching up on the news, telling you something super cool that happened recently, or just want to know how you are doing anyway.
If you haven't received anything from your friend for a while, ask if he's okay
Step 2. Put place and date
Write your current address in the upper left corner of the paper. It's good to put this information, because he lost his address. It's also nice to write the date, to give a little more reference to what you're counting.
If they always write to each other, for example, it's a good idea to put in the dates so they know what they're talking about
Step 3. Think about the size of the letter
If you only want to send a message, then you can only use one card. Otherwise, use normal sheets anyway.
If you think a regular card won't suffice, buy a bigger one. So, you can put everything you wanted to tell
Step 4. Decide whether to write or type the letter
If you want to make it even more personal (and your handwriting help), bet on pen and paper. Otherwise, you can use the computer anyway. After all, what matters is your content and your friendship.
If the letter is for an older person, it's best to type it for readability.
Step 5. Choose the greeting
Since you are writing to a friend, be very informal. You can call the person by name or nickname, whichever you prefer. If you want, you can also add a touch of energy, doing this:
- "Hello Mariana!"
- "Hi Mari!"
- "Dear Mariana, "
- "My dear Mari, "
Part 2 of 3: Writing the body of the letter
Step 1. Greet the recipient
After you have made the greeting, write a line or two greeting your friend, before moving on to the body of the letter. Think of it as the introduction to the conversation, writing something like this:
- "I hope you're well."
- "Thanks for the last letter."
- "I know it's been a while since I've written."
- "There's so much I need to tell!"
Step 2. Start with the main point
Keep your friend up to date on everything that's been happening in your life, telling you about that trip you took or explaining something that happened recently. Whenever you change the subject, start a new paragraph to make the letter more organized.
- You can write two or three paragraphs about that trip you took on vacation, for example. And then one more about what you've been up to after that.
- If you're not sure what to write, don't make up too much. Talk about the last movie you watched, the book you're reading, stuff like that.
Step 3. Pass the ball to the recipient
After you've told them all about yourself, how you're feeling, and other news, respond to what your friend said in the last letter. So you keep the conversation alive.
- If your friend hasn't written for a while, mention this fact in the letter, asking what he's been up to.
- You can say, for example: “in the last letter you said you were not doing very well. Did you go to the doctor? Is it better already?”
You can also comment on things he said. Say, for example: “I can't believe you're going to graduate! I think it's time to take that job to live near here, don't you think?"
Step 4. Ask questions that encourage dialogue
After you let the recipient know about your life, direct the conversation so that it continues. This part is even more important if you want him to give you some advice.
- Say something like "now that I've told you everything, what do you think I should do about what happened?"
- If you're not sure what to ask, be more comprehensive. Say, for example, “Hey, how are things? Any news?"
Step 5. Write the letter in an informal tone
Put some personality into your speech, using your own style. If you like, use slang, inside jokes, make references to people you know and so on.
The tone of the letter must match the theme. If you're talking about a super-fun weekend, write lightly and relaxed. But if the subject is heavier, keep your tone serious
To see if the letter is sounding natural, read it aloud and tidy it up if you need to.
Part 3 of 3: Closing the Letter
Step 1. Lead her to the outcome
After writing down everything you wanted and asking about your friend, finish the letter. For that, it's nice to write something about your friendship, leaving the door open for further correspondence.
- If you are far away, end like this: “I'm loving it here, but it would be so much better if you were with me. Can't wait to see each other when I get back!”
- If they had a fight, write something like, "I know we're going through a rough time right now, but I want you to know that I'm really glad we're trying to work things out."
Step 2. Finish the letter
Choose a greeting to end, followed by a comma and sign your name on the bottom line. For a more personal touch, write your name by hand. Otherwise, you can stamp it or type it in yourself. To close the letter, use one of these formulas:
- "Of your friend, "
- "With love, "
- "Kisses and hugs, "
- "With love, "
- "Take care, "
- "A kiss, "
Step 3. Review the letter
After you finish it, take a moment and read it again, looking for grammatical or spelling errors. If you don't have a lot of time, type it into your computer and run the spell checker.
It's good to give the letter one last read, to see if everything is alright. Remember, you can't transfer the tone of voice to paper, so sometimes the other person can misinterpret something you've written
Step 4. Write your address and the recipient's address on the envelope
His goes on the back of the envelope (the part that has the flap to close) and you should start with your friend's full name. On the bottom row, put the street and house number, and at the bottom, the city, state and zip code. On the other side of the envelope, put all your information, following the same format.
If the sender lives in another country, be sure to include it with the address
Step 5. Put the stamp on the letter and send it
To know exactly how to do it, the best thing is to go to the post office closest to you and they do the whole process themselves. But normally the stamp is placed in the upper right corner of the envelope and you can't forget to close it, too. Then just send it!
- If you are sending the letter from another country, you can put it in these mailboxes on the street.
- If you are going to send something else with the letter or it is super thick, weigh it in the mail before sending it.
To find out how much it costs to send the letter, do an online search, on the Correio's website, or search for “cost of sending a letter [name of the place]”.
- Even if the letter is about a heavy topic, always use respectful and friendly language. Unlike what is said with lip service, what is written in the letter does not vanish with the wind. If you say something unpleasant that hurts someone, those words will remain there for the recipient to read and reread as many times as they like.
- If the letter is too formal, it's best to make a draft first. When you like the result, put it on paper, definitely, using your best handwriting.
- If the letter is too long, with more than two pages, it is good to number it (eg: 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3). The sheets can end up shuffling and your friend won't understand anything.