We’re back this week with the second person POV. We’re going to take a look at this, it’s going to be a little on short side as there’s not a lot out there about using this POV and I will admit I’ve never tried to use it before.
Let’s just dive right in and start off with our definition:
Second Person: a point of view that belongs to the person (or people) being addressed. This is the “you” perspective. Once again, the biggest indicator of the second person is the use of second-person pronouns: you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves.
Now, instead of me basically copying and rewording this excellent article by Novel Writing Help, I’m just going to let you read it instead and then sum up some of the main points.
Main points from the article:
- Suspend your disbelief. Instead of thinking you’re the character, pretend that someone is talking to you about you. It will seem a bit weird, but it’s definitely a way to get our of the “I’m the character” mindset.
- …. But also don’t be afraid to become that character. Remember playing as a child? How you really thought that you were a firetruck or a princess or whatever? Well second person tries to get you to play with your imagination a bit like when you did as a kid.
- Be aware of your tense. Harvey Chapman, the author behind Novel Writing Help, believes that the best tense for writing in second person is to use present tense, but he doesn’t think writing in past tense will affect your story all that much. (I personally agree with him there.)
Now aside from this article I didn’t find a whole bunch that promoted the use of second person and there’s a lot of drawback. Especially the I’m the character mindset a lot of readers jump to when they read something in the second person. However, it can be done well if you know what you’re doing. The best example that I can give you, and is given a lot, is a book called Bright Lights, Big City by James McInerey in 1984. It was popular in its day and is one of the only successful stories told from the second person POV.
That’s it and all that I have for you this week. Tune in next week for third person POV.
Until next week!
Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt is another passable example of 2nd person POV. It’s a super tricky style to write in!
Thanks for the share! I haven’t heard of this one. I bet! I personally haven’t attempted to write in the second person yet and I think I’d find it too weird to write in.
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