1. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    Writing in second person.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MarcT, Sep 6, 2016.

    I've been fascinated by this point of view since reading Nic Kelman's Girls, which I picked up just out of curiosity. On first sight, the second person style was a little jarring, but after about the third page, I could see exactly why he wrote in that style and it fit the storyline perfectly.
    A couple of years ago I wrote about my experiences in boarding school, but from the third person perspective, but am now going to rewrite it in second person. It's only 7000 words so far, but the change to second person will give it the immediacy that I'm looking for and I want to put the reader in my eyes so to speak.
    Has anyone else written in second person?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There is a 2nd person piece written by one of our members that posted in the Erotica subforum if you're game to give it a view. :bigoops:

    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/dirt-road-word-count-979-rating-3.128320/

    The one question I had for the writer in that piece was, since the person being addressed is the reader as you, when a piece is a longer work, how does the writer maintain this engagement when action needs to take place away from my location. It's one thing to write in 1st person where everything needs to happen when and where the 1st person narrator happens to be, but in 2nd person it would seem you need to have two people ever present: the person reffering to me, and me.

    Am I wrong in this? Are there are other techniques allowed within this mode?
     
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I started reading The Lime Twig and I think it switches from second person to first. The mc is the I POV but for the first chapter he addresses the reader as You. You go here, you see this, you pass by me and then it makes the switch. It was actually an interesting way to handle second person in a novel as I've only ever seen second used in short stories.
     
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  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I think it is a neat concept, but also a little strange. It could be engaging to the reader, as it kinda brings them along for the ride. Almost like a heavy story driven FPS. Where you are playing as the MC, but you do not really direct the story (unless the design is setup in the coding to take into account your actions, and then you have some effect on the outcome of the story to some degree).

    I too read 'dirt road', but it made me feel a little awkward and out of place. (Though I may have been a little strong in my critique of it.)
    But it is an example of a piece of adult fiction that tries to be the 'fourth wall' breaker in the sense that it applies the 2nd POV into the main story line.

    Ultimately I am a bit torn on 2nd POV. Maybe because it has that intentional fourth wall break to include the reader on a semi-personal level to go on the adventure. It has a lot of potential if you can really draw the reader in with all the basics (setting, characters, plot, etc.), but it falls squarely on the shoulders of the author to really make the entirety of it 'Pop' if you catch my drift. I think after a fashion it would be riding largely on those pesky details to really pull the reader into the moment. Kinda like painting the Mona Lisa on a grain of rice. While it seems like a cool idea, it will be nothing short of a pain in the ass if you are not all that well at putting artwork on a grain of rice.
     
  5. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    I've never read a novel written in second person, but I've read short and flash stories that were very entertaining. It works a lot for comedy and drama and generally, more psychedelic stuff. When you want to share your eyes and mind with the reader. It sounds like a confession of some sorts, or like a revelation waiting for the reader at the corner of the story. I've written some stuff in second to break my routine. It kind of happened without much thought. (I was free writing and it popped-out of nowhere). I guess I needed it. (Speaking my mind directly). I was always curious about if it is ok to write in first person and have some instances written in second. Like the MC is trying to address directly to the reader sometimes. I like this when it's done with measure, especially when I like the MC a lot. Some people though, do not. I guess that it's a matter of taste. I like playful artworks. :p

    7000 words is not such a long story, so I think that it will make sense length-wise. I think that reading a full fledged novel in second, might get somewhat tedious, but I'm not sure because as I said, I've never read one before. A lot of "you's" you see. Maybe, it's because I'm used to "I's" and "he's" though.
     
  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll just say this and leave it at that.

    Very little published fiction is written in 2nd, and I think there's a reason why this is so.

    Telling me what he did is fine. Telling me what you did is fine. Telling me what I did... Mmmm.
     
  7. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    I just read Trish's piece. Blown away, frankly!
     

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