Second Person Point of View

2015-02-03 18.29.32

First Person: “I”

Second person: “You”

Third Person: “He” or “She”

I read an article recently on how the second person point of view was an ‘Off with her Head’ thing for a writer. I’d never really thought about it, to be honest. When I write my novels, I generally stick to the third person point of view. And, let’s face it, you don’t want to randomly switch views in the middle of the book, as it may/will destroy the flow of the work, and bump the reader out of the story. The point is to forget you’re reading – to get lost in the words. Switching from person to person doesn’t make that possible.

Although it can be done. It’s not recommended, as it can’t always be pulled off, but it is possible. Just as it is possible to write an entire manuscript in second person. It’s not a horrible thing. It’s just difficult.

You may have even switched from point of view to point of view accidentally. I know I have. When I first started writing, in one chapter I continually switched from first and third person without realizing it. It was a mess to fix, but it helped me figure out which view I was most comfortable writing in. I certainly found where I’m comfortable, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be practicing other forms of writing and technique. Trying new and dangerous things is what art is all about, after all.

Writing Exercise:

Try writing an entire paragraph in second person. Can you do it? Try writing an entire page in the second person point of view.

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One thought on “Second Person Point of View

  1. iggy23 says:

    I tried my hand at second person about four years ago and I loved how it was unique! The teachers in school didn’t expect a second-person story and the marks greatly boosted my confidence. I have written a couple of proper second person short stories since then and I think they turned out alright 🙂

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