Please critique my letter...

I’m not asking for an analysis of the content, specifically, of the letter that follows, though you may do so (just please don’t savage me, LOL). Rather, I am looking for analysis of the meter, the flow, the use of adjectives and imagery, etc. I’ve long been told that the romantic exposition is a strong point of mine, and now I’m looking to fine-tune it. Depending on how this goes, and how productive it is, I may post additional material, if anyone is interested.
My Dearest Felecia,

Once again, I sit down at my desk to set pen to paper and attempt, however inadequately, to express myself to you, and once again I find that words are insufficient to the task. How can one express the full range of emotions that are contained in a single look, a simple touch, or a precious tear slowly trickling down a solitary cheek?

I complain of words being inadequate, and yet I hesitate lest I should over-extend myself and reach too far in the effort, straining your belief in what I say and your trust that my meanings and intentions are pure and true. I fear that my full expression would test your credulity in my struggle to explain the depth of what I experience when I consider you and how you affect me.

And Oh! How you affect me, lover. At times when I am given to contemplation of what you have come to mean to me, it is too much. I find myself awash in emotions: happiness for what we’ve been able to share; anticipation for what the future could hold; excitement at the thought of getting to see you again someday; exhilaration when we spend time together talking for hours on end; and joy at having become an important part of your life.

Felecia, you, and by extension our relationship, are precious to me. In spite of the insecurities which sometimes trouble me, I would not trade the experience of loving you for anything else in which I could have partaken in the last several months. You have helped to assuage a wound which has burdened me for the last six years. The torch I carried was a scar and a grief that burned interminably, but you lifted that weight, extinguished the most damaging of the flames, and salved the portions of my heart that were still festering from this past hurt. It is perhaps this portion of our relationship that has endeared you so deeply to me; this portion that you cannot see, but which I most surely can feel but am inadequate to tell.

For your affection and your support, I am grateful, and always will be. This gratitude has helped me to become comfortable with the thought of keeping myself exclusively to you. I find it easy to be content to wait for you and the rare, precious times that we might be together. It pleases me to keep myself for you. Felecia, I have no right to ask you to do likewise, and I would never outright ask you to do so, but I feel that I can ask you to do something somewhat out of your nature. I ask you not to think about us with the logic of your mind, but with the impetuosity of your heart. If you can, just give us a little time, and let’s see what else might develop. If, however, you feel that you cannot, I can assure you with all honesty that I will understand. Though my heart compels me to see if there is any way to make your happiness complete in me, your final happiness is my truest desire. I suppose, in a way, what I’m asking is to give your heart the same chance that I am willing to take.

Regardless of anything else I have said here tonight, I want you to know that you are loved. You are deeply, truly loved, desired and appreciated more than I will ever be able to express. You are a very large part of me now, and I hope that I, too, am a part of you. Thank you for being you, thank you for making me such a special part of your life, and thank you for allowing me to make you a part of mine. Give me the opportunity, and you will come to know what it is to be loved not only for who you are, but for who you are in my eyes. I’ve said it before: if you could see yourself through my eyes, you would fall in love with you, too.

Felecia, I hope you will forgive me for the length of this letter, but I had so much I wanted to say and so much I wanted you to know, and it just spilled out of me as I wrote to you tonight. As inadequate as it is, no poet that has ever existed has ever been able to improve upon its simple meaning:

I love you.

Most sincerely,

  • Xxx

Long sentences. Far too long. Even printed out into a ‘normal’ print format, they’ll be reaching Dickensian-ramble length.

Your first three paragraphs all use very similar structures. Try isolating these, and changing the order of the three. You’ll see what I mean (I hope!)

Final point - too many 'I’s.

Don’t let me discourage you - I know fuck-all about these things. I just spend my time telling other people where they’ve gone wrong :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention - please also feel free to cut/paste/copy/quote/rearrange as you see fit to make a point clear…

Thanks, GorillaMan. That’s the kind of input I’m looking for.

I suppose it depends what the purpose of this letter is. If you’re writing a Victorian romance novel it’s fine, but if there really is a Felecia you’re trying to woo, it may come across as overwrought. Unless she really likes Victorian romance novels. :wink: Also, the usual spelling is Felicia, so make sure you know how she spells her own name.

As one of my editors used to scream, “Simplify, simplify, simplify!”
In addition to the other poster’s good suggestions, try to have shorter sentences. I realize you are trying to wax poetic, and she may well love this prose, but OTOH, you don’t want her to start giggling, eh?

You must know her well enough to determine whether she will be impressed or not. But it is her you do want to impress, not yourself. Pardon me, but i get the feeling you are sort of exercising your vocabulary.

Read a few pages of Hemmingway to see what I mean.

In any case, good luck!

Yeah, I have to join what will probably be a pile on. If it helps, think of it as a constructive pile on. :slight_smile: I know how hard these things are to write.

Try to avoid flowery prose. Go for a more conversational style. Think what you’d say to her in person, then write that down and clean it up a bit. Tell her you love her. Express simply and clearly what it is about her you love. Is it her beauty? her kindness? her intelligence? Also, if there’s something you know she’s insecure about, build her up a little on that topic. For instance if she feels she’s not all that bright, praise her for some aspect of her mind–even something like her taste in music, or a second language she can speak. Don’t forget to mention her looks, but do it tastefully.

Remember the old adage: Show, don’t tell. Reading this letter I have no idea who Felecia is, or what she’s like. Tell her specifically what you love about her, not simply that you feel a wash of emotions. That just doesn’t say anything.

No. If nothing else this has to go. There’s an SNL character who talks like this, and if Felicia has seen that episode that’s all she’ll think of. Reading it, doesn’t it sound a little bombastic, even to you.

Apologies if that came across as harsh. It’s meant in the best possible sense. As I said I know these things are hard to write. Good luck!

Great commentary, all of you. I really appreciate it. I intend to reference back to the suggestions in this thread for my next attempt (this one is already winging its way to the recipient).
Yes, her name is FelEcia, not FelIcia…and she’s a real person. For what is going on with us at this time, I felt it necessary to reaffirm what she makes me feel and that it is genuine emotion, not something shallow.
I will definitely spend a lot of time in the next one building up who she is.

Keep it coming, folks! And no, I don’t feel like it’s a pile-on in the traditional sense, since I asked for it.

Yep, do that. Because as it is, it reads like you’re trying to impress her with your writing talent. If my SO sent me that letter, I’d think “Well, aren’t you special”.

What Larry said: Show, don’t tell.

I’m beginning to think I made a mistake in sending this. For what it’s worth, this is the second letter I’ve sent, not the first…so maybe she will forgive a bit of the floweriness this time…

How did she react to the first letter?

She liked it very much. I do agree that the next one should be more affirmative of her.

I think that this letter would come across as much more sincere and genuine if you rewrote without the, to use the apt phrase above, “flowery prose”. You don’t need to make it sound perfect. I’d rather that someone told me that “I love you. You are a very kind and gentle person, and being with you makes me feel like a whole person for the first time,” rather than “Oh! How you affect me, lover.”

well. i’m going to disagree with the majority.

if I received a letter like that, i’d be floored – in a VERY good way.
but then, i do read alot and enjoy Victorian prose.
even with the flowery language, it comes across to me as heartfelt, and that’s what i react to the most.