WHAT IF you'd love to write a love letter but don't have the foggiest notion of how to begin? Here are a few tips on how to write eloquent, adoring prose to the one you love:
* Be detailed. Instead of: I miss you. Try: "The coffee at breakfast simply wasn't the same without your presence."
* Be specific, but use discretion. If you love the fact that his nose is perky in a cute way, feel free to say so, says David Bergman, professor of English at Towson State University. But if you like fat thighs, don't mention it.
* Write glowing phrases about him or her, not you. You know what they say about flattery.
* Relax. Write as though you were talking. Share your thoughts, describe what you're doing, says Allison Kyle Leopold, author of "Victorian Keepsakes."
* Don't rush. Give yourself time to think about what you want to say.
* Keep it short. Why try to be eloquent for six pages when one will do?
* Think twice before dousing that stationary with perfume, says Mr. Bergman. You want the object of your desire breathless with love not asphyxiation.
* Write from the heart, says Fred Guy, chairman of history and philosophy department at the University of Baltimore.