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Now you can encipher your plaintext and pass it to your friend who knows the proper key letter.
You could make your ciphertext a little tougher to decode if you threw 26 pieces of paper into a hat, each with a letter of the alphabet written on it, drew them out one at a time, and put them side-by-side under a normal alphabet.
Substitution ciphers replace letters in the plaintext with other letters or symbols, keeping the order in which the symbols fall the same.
Transposition ciphers keep all of the original letters intact, but mix up their order.
Therefore you must choose an algorithm (method) that is complicated enough so that by the time your opponent figures it out, the data will be worthless.
By way of analogy, to get into your home you would put a key in a lock to open the door.
This process (the use of a key and a lock) is the method or algorithm.
The Captain Midnight decoder ring (which is an "encoder" ring as well) allows you to do a simple substitution cipher.
It usually has two concentric wheels of letters, A through Z.