Well, not so much rules as guidelines. Little snippets of plain, common sense, which will go a long way to endear you to me. Or to anyone else really.1. For the love of all things papery, please include your name in block letters. Especially if your handwriting is at all difficult to read. And don’t just assume it is easy to read: print it anyway.
2. While you’re at it, write your address in block capitals as well. How can anyone be expected to write back to you if they cannot read your address? Don’t force them to turn amateur detective, having to look for you on google, facebook, even, gawdhelpthem, twitter.
3. Next, tell them where you found their name and address. They might be the only person you’ve written to this century. But you might be the hundredth person who has written to them. They may be a member of several penfriend groups, clubs, and website. If they don’t know, then you come off as being a tad stalkery. If you saw them in a friendship book, SAY SO.
3. If you’re going to be cutsey and write to them as though they had known you for donkey’s years, that’s nice. But again, for the love of Flow magazine for paper lovers, include some plain, ordinary facts. Your age would be a nice start. Some basic interests, something to help the other person decide if they want to write to you or not. Give them something to work with.
4. Remember: as someone wiser than me once said, a letter is a gift. No one is under any obligation to reply, or even to reply within the same month. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of letters. I won’t take you to task if you’re writing to me several months after you got my letter. And I expect that you won’t take me to task as well. I recently had a letter that ended “don’t leave it so late next time”. I answered the letter, not as quickly as the writer would have liked, and if I get a reply like that again, I won’t be replying any more.
And that’s it. They’re not really too onerous, just suggestions to make your penpalling experience a nicer one, and mine too. Luna is giving you the hard stare to make sure you follow these guidelines.