Tuesday, 14 April 2015

L for Letters

As part of the structure of When Skies Are Grey I introduce a series of letters signed by 'Mother'.

There are eight letters from Mother, mostly found in the first part of the novel. I use these letters as a means of plot development but also to create an element of intrigue for my main character.
The letters are addressed to Gaynor, a character the reader has never encountered, but realises quickly that Gaynor is someone they know well. The question I want to put into the reader's mind is; why has she changed her name and what is she hiding? She certainly hides the letters away for some reason, she very rarely answers them either.

The use of letters in a novel can be a very handy device for writers. In the Colour Purple by Alice Walker, letters were used as part of the narrative. Each one starting 'Dear God'. The letters carry the narrative when two main characters are separated from each other, allowing the author to be in two places.

In When Skies Are Grey the purpose of the letters is really for dropping hints and making suggestions about things to come. Hopefully enticing the reader to stick around for the revelation.

If you've ever used letters in your writing, how did you use them and why?


  1. Congratulations on the publication of your first novel! I too write Women's Fiction but haven't begun to query yet. My story incorporates postcards as a means to share quotations by Vincent Van Gogh. (Do you know about the Women's Fiction Writer's Association? It's a wonderful, supportive organization.)

    Faye at Destination: Fiction

    1. Thanks for visiting, Faye and I'll certainly check out the Women's Fiction Writer's Association!