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Chapter 26. Personal Writing: In Your Wr... > Friendly Letters: My Baby, She Wrote... - Pg. 266

Personal Writing: In Your Write Mind 266 Signed, Sealed, Delivered: I'm Yours An astonishing number of people would rather get a root canal, pay their tax bill, or jump from a moving train than write a friendly letter. If you're one of these, the following 10 tips should make your task easier: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Don't apologize for not having written or for running out of ideas. You're not on trial here. Reread any recent letters you received from the person to whom you are writing. This helps you answer the person's questions and include items of interest to the reader. To make your ideas come alive, use vivid sensory impressions, descriptions that appeal to sight, hearing, smell, and so on. Include figures of speech, such as similes and metaphors. Tap into what you learned in Part 5 of this book. Add dialogue to make your writing more specific and interesting, too. Identify all unfamiliar people and places you mention. Never assume that your reader knows the complete cast of characters in your life, especially newcomers like your daughter's boy- friend (the one with the ring in his navel and hole in his head). Check your grammar and usage carefully. Reread for errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and logic. Make your letter easy to read. Write legibly or type. Try to end your letter on a positive note. Avoid lame endings like, "Well, that's all I have to say" or "It's late so I'll end this letter." A strong ending leaves your readers thinking good thoughts --and thinking well of you. 7. 8. 9. 10.