Using letter writing as a narrative structure has a long history.
Here are some examples….
Dangerous Liaisonswritten by Pierre de Laclos just before the French Revolution. Most of it is written as letters between the two main characters
Daddy Long Legs was published in 1912 . You can download ithereThe central character is a bright, witty orphan girl who is given a grant to go to university. She writes to her anonymous benefactor who never replies.
The Screwtape Lettersby C.S. Lewis. An exchange of letters between the devil and a lesser demon
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. A real life exchange of letters between an American writer and a London antiquarian bookshop
We Need to Talk about Kevinby Lionel Shriver: the mother of a teenager killer writes a series of letters to her husband.
Ladies of Lettersby Brighton based writer Carole Hayman. It was a very successful BBC Radio 4 series with Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge. It also became a television series starring Maureen Lipman. It started off life as letters but as time passed it became an exchange of deeply sarcastic emails.
Epistolary literature is an engaging way of telling a story. However, a novel set in the 21st century has to take into account that other forms of communication are more popular.
Keitai shousetsuor mobile phone novels have been popular in Japan since the early 2000s and in 2007 a Finnish novel calledThe Last Messages by Hannu Luntiala told the story of an IT executive giving up his job in about 1,000 text messages.
A number of writers have explored the idea of Twitter novels. In 2008, Penguin Books launched theWe Tell Storiesproject in which six of its authors used interactive media, including Twitter.
(Photo credit: juque)
In 2009, writerNeil Gaiman worked with the BBC to producean interactive novel built from tweets and last year the American novelist Jennifer Egan published a story in tweet after tweet over 10 consecutive evenings. You can read it HERE