Love letters serve a dual purpose. They express the feelings of the lover to their beloved and they affirm the beloved as a lovable and hopefully loving person. (Unrequited love makes great drama, but mostly it sucks.)
With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I'm sure that some people are already saving their pennies and compiling a list of gifts and activities for the big day, however, sometimes, less is more. The sentiments of a love letter rendered with paper, pen and heart far outlast the shine of silver, gold or even diamonds and exceed their value. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you write your love letter:
*Use metaphors and similes. For example, you could write: Like a hearth fire, on the coldest night of winter, I reach for you. Or you could say, My finest treasure, My greatest gift, etc. to open your letter.
*This is not about you. Keep "I" statements to a minimum. Talk about your beloved and why you love them: Your beautiful smile drew me to you. You always think of me first. Your laughter drives away the darkness of the day., etc.
*Keep it simple. If you wouldn't say it, then don't. Your beloved wants to hear from you, not a pretty sounding stranger. You can quote other people, but make sure you let your lover know you're quoting. For example, Shakespeare said....
*Write it longhand. This is a gift, a keepsake. Find some stationery and a pen, then copy your letter onto it--you don't want any scratch throughs or whiteouts. You're creating a work of art for your lover to treasure.
This week, try your hand at writing a first draft of your love letter in your own style. Next week, I'll offer a discussion of the composition of love letters~possible salutations, the body of the letter, the close~and provide some additional examples.