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Covered in White (Letter #1)

by MayCupcake

Dear Grandfather,                                                                                                           December 6

The seasons have fallen upon Winter once again and I find myself within your old estate. I am not sure exactly why I am writing you, for I never had the pleasure of meeting you in life. I guess the comfort in speaking with someone who will not ridicule me for whatever I say inspired me to do so. Or perhaps I feel I should know you and have the obligation to converse with you.

In the Spring, I will, as my parents say, ‘finally be of age.’ Which means essentially that the lights of my childhood will have burned down to the very ends of their wicks and the little oil left shall not be merciful enough to lend more time. With the discussion of my upcoming birthday just this past Saturday, Mother slipped from her lips with grace the words of which I was in no hurry to hear. She took my hands in hers and said, “Mabel, dear, you have grown into such an amiable young woman of which any man would be lucky to have. In fact, your father and I have gone to great lengths and you are to be married in the months passing your twentieth!” A hint of excitement swelled within the ending syllables of Mother’s voice and I had no will to share it.

Thankfully, Grandmother caught wind of my parents’ storm which weighed responsibilities and mannerisms against me amidst the past weeks in order to shake me from the roots I had remained buried for so long. She arranged for me to stay with her the entirety of the colder months and learn what I needed before the inevitable daunting breath of Spring.

So, here I am. My hand scribbling to you this letter within the journal I was gifted by Grandmother in arriving here. I sit along the wooden table you used your very hands to shape, sheltered by the walls which you once graced with your presence. I hope you will have me.


Mabel Bailey

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551 Reviews

Points: 61489
Reviews: 551

Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:58 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...

Hello MayCupcake!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was a rather well-written piece and I really liked reading it. Narrating stories through letters or diary entries has become quite a recurrent theme in literature nowadays, but I genuinely like the way letters flow. It carries such a distinct tone and it so different from the usual narration that we see in stories. I guess letters also carry an intimacy and allow us to get to know the narrator on a much more deeper and personal level. Because here, we are getting the information first-hand from our main character; we are also getting to know how her mind works, what she prioritizes and how she views the world.

Throughout the letter, there was this melancholic vibe that emanated from the narrator. The use of 'white' in the title of the prose also helps set the theme as we can feel the calm and sober mood from the very beginning. From this short letter, we can also form a basic idea of who she is. It is apparent that she is a woman of gentle manners. She's had a good upbringing and seems to be a rather soft-spoken and articulate person. She is thoughtful, as we can surmise from her narration, and there is a kind of solidity to her thoughts that suggests maturity.

However, I also felt there was this air of disconnection about her. Throughout the letter, it felt as if she was detached from the world - she was writing about the possibility of her parents fixing an engagement for her and it felt like she was narrating someone else's story, rather than her own. There was a nonchalance about her that seemed to suggest that she either does not really care about any of it or she feels she has no say in the matter and therefore she chooses to remain compliant and passive throughout the discussions about her life that other people seem to have a more dominant role in.

Other than that, this was well-written and concise. I like your use of language but I do agree with momonster - you should have given some indication of the period/date to help us understand the setting or the background of the story. We had to go along with the narrator and pick up clues to form an idea about the time period. But its better if your readers get that information in the very beginning so that they can proceed into the story with an idea of the background.

While I did like your choice of words, at times I felt that the sentences were a bit long. For example, here:

Thankfully, Grandmother caught wind of my parents’ storm which weighed responsibilities and mannerisms against me amidst the past weeks in order to shake me from the roots I had remained buried for so long.

This sentence was not necessarily long in the sense that it seemed to go on and on. But you put so many significant words and ideas into the sentence that I felt as if the meaning got lost somewhere among the words. I had to read it twice to actually catch it, and I am still not sure if I got it right. Long sentences can create an incredible effect in your narration, but you have to make sure that the message or the meaning sticks. Otherwise, it becomes unnecessary and a little frustrating when your readers go through the entire thing only to have to read it again so that they can understand the meaning.

Overall, this was a really good beginning. I am not sure if you are planning to continue this, but you have a solid start here and I think you can make something great out of this.

Keep writing and have a great day!

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92 Reviews

Points: 1000
Reviews: 92

Mon May 23, 2022 2:36 am
momonster wrote a review...

hello may! it's momo with a review c:

i love this! i've written letters to my grandma even though i know she'll never see them, so i know what it's like. it was very sweet and touching <3

i saw that you capitalized the seasons. you probably know this, but you don't have to capitalize seasons. if it was an intentional artistic choice, i think it matches the theme of this letter well.

something else i saw was that you put the month and day, but not year. i think it would help your reader if you specify the year. it just gives a little context that i would appreciate.

i didn't really see anything else, so i'll finish this review here. if you write more of these, please tag me! i would love to keep reading them. also, if you disagreed with any part of this review, feel free to ignore it!

happy writing,

Gravity was a mistake.
— Till Nowak