Styles of Non-Fiction Writing: Letters

When someone writes a letter, or more modernly, emails, they are taking part in the creation of a non-fiction text! Sure, it's possible to write a fictional story in a letter, but in many cases, letters are pieces of non-fiction which share some truth about the world. Letters--though not always called this--have been sent and shared for thousands of years. The transference of information has always been important, and until the invention of phones and the internet, the only way to do that was to sit down and write a letter. These letters have been sent in all different ways throughout the years: birds, planes, boats, on foot. There are many types of letters, all of which can be called non-fiction. An open letter is a letter to the public usually written to expose, praise or criticize some public policy or event that has been happening. A letter to the editor is usually written to a newspaper or magazine editor, expressing opinion about an issue presented in a previous issue, or raising an issue they have related to the publication's topics. There are sales letters, informal letters, letters of business, letters of credit, letters of intent and thanks: the possibilities with a letter are endless. Really, any words that you put on a page and send can become a letter. For that letter to be nonfiction the pieces written in the letter must be true: you cannot write a fictional story within a letter, mail it to someone, and call it fact. Instead, for a letter to be non-fiction, everything inside must be your perspective on the capital T- Truth. Does anyone out there still enjoy handwriting letters?

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