author, creative writing, writing

An Open Letter to my Protagonist…

…and why you should write one too.

Hello writers!

Inspired by three wonderful bloggers and writers (readtolivetowrite, M.A. Ryan and JadeLM) I have decided to write an open letter to Nadia, one of my protagonists from my current WIP. It’s really opened my eyes to her even more and I strongly recommend that all writer’s try this exercise, for the following reasons:

1. You write about them from your personal perspective
Unless you’re a character in your novel (which i doubt you are!), you never write about your protagonist through your eyes. Perhaps you write about them from their own perspective, or that of another character. Either way there’s something really personal about writing this letter from you to them. It truly helps you connect and see them as a real person.

2. You’ll realise what they’ve been through
Of course, you know your character’s story. Where they begin, what happens along the way and where they end up. Therefore it can be easy to let them plod through these situations without stopping to comprehend the full scale of what they’ve been through. Writing one of these letters makes you realise exactly what they’ve had to deal with. I for one will certainly be focusing more on my character’s state of mind, as a result of this writing exercise.

3. You’ll see how much they’ve grown
Writing this made me appreciate how far my character has come since I started developing her in my mind and in my plans. There’s something really affirming about realising you’ve created a truly believable, relatable character who has grown in the way real humans do.

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Last but not least, it’s great fun. I’ve written mine below! I’d love to read yours so if you have one already or write one another time please post links in the comments! I’d love to take a look.


Recipient: Nadia Needham
Address: London

Dear Nadia,

This letter won’t reach you. I put ‘London’ as the address but of course I couldn’t be more specific than that. London is your home, every part of it. You are not tied down, though perhaps, by now, you wish you were. No, this letter will wind up in a Dead Letter Office somewhere, lost to the world just like you.

I should probably apologise for everything you’ve been through. Losing your parents while you were barely an adult yourself was too much, but to have your little brother run away from home shortly after was just cruel. I’m sorry for leaving you all alone.

That’s why I’m so glad you met Felix. You couldn’t ask for a better friend and I know that she’ll always do whatever she can to keep you safe. It wasn’t so much fate that bought you together, but circumstance. She too called the streets her home and battled the long, cold nights alone. Until she met you. You saved her, Nadia, but then of course she saved you as well.

On top of it all, you could probably have done with not finding that body in Battersea Park. I’m sorry for that too. I feel your shock and sadness as ferociously as you do, and that’s the truth. You’ve dealt with it all so well, but I know you’re beginning to crumble and soon the truth will shatter you and everyone you know.

I’ve said so many sorry’s to you already, Nadia. So, I’m not sure how to tell you this but things are going to get so much worse before they get better. You may think I’ve said sorry enough, but it’s what’s to come that I should be truly sorry for.

Stay strong, sweet girl. I am so proud of you, you have become so brave and remained so unselfish despite your troubles.

With love,
M.

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Thank you for reading!
Have a great weekend and keep writing,
M
x

16 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my Protagonist…”

  1. I almost choked up a bit at this!! 😢 I can’t wait to meet Nadia and Felix when your finished!
    I really hope more people end up doing this! It’s so nice to see in to other people’s world’s, and your reasonings for it are perfect!
    Loved this post 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so cool! I have a feeling that every letter that authors write to their protagonists will be different. I liked how you mentioned that she probably wouldn’t get your letter because of where it would end up realistically in her world. This makes her even more alive to me, and I think this letter would probably be a nice addition in your actual book once it is done. It would be amazing if authors wrote letters to their characters and put them in the manuscript so that the reader can see the connection between the author and the character. Sorry about my ramblings… Loved this post. I will probably try it with my protagonist soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and for taking the time to read the post. Really touched by what you’ve said. Yes, I’d love to see some of my favourite authors write a letter to their characters. It’s a profound relationship, and as you said, different for everyone. I’d love to see yours if you do one! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your reasons are so true. I experienced all of these while writing my letter, as I think everyone else who has done this exercise will agree.

    Your letter is precious and so heartfelt. I am so happy you decided to do this, and I how it benefited you in ways that will help in your writing.

    Thanks for the shout out too. Glad we found each other! You are such an inspiration. Thanks for the fantastic post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love that this is becoming a sort of write-of-passage in novel writing! 😉 Your letter is beautiful – my heart skipped a beat when you mentioned the letter will never reach her. How much pain we put our protagonists through… but no less (I think) than life. And it really is amazing seeing how much they grow because of it!! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much ❤
      It's a really important part of her story and the message of the story in general that she became homeless unintentionally and the reasons why are devastating. It makes me sad to think of how lost she is, but you're right life is painful!
      Thank you for the comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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