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The Perks Of Writing In Second Person Point Of View

Second person point of view uses “you,” “your,” and “yours.” Some say it is the hardest point of view to pull off since it turns the reader into the main character. But when used with the right techniques, the writer can easily do it. The second person is divided into two categories: second-person singular, wherein the story is told directly to one reader; and second-person plural, wherein the narration is directed towards a group. Furthermore, to make the experience more interactive, the writer can choose to combine the second and first-person points of view. Prominent writers using second person point of view include Junot Diaz, Lorrie Moore, Jay McInerney, and Italo Calvino. If you are an aspiring writer and would want to follow in their footsteps, this article will tell you why it is effective.

Since it is so rare, you will have lesser competition. This would make you stand out than most writers. A good storyline and the unique utilization of the second person point of view would make you a renowned writer gaining a ton of readers.

The readers are able to imagine being the characters themselves. Unlike in the first or third person in which you are merely an invisible audience to another person’s story and are not a part of the unfolding events. The reader is also a participant in the story. A good example is this text from The Fifth Season written by N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo: “You’re the mother of two children, but now one of them is dead and the other is missing. Maybe she’s dead, too. You discover all of this when you come home from work one day. House empty, too empty, tiny little boy all bloody and bruised on the den floor”.

The writer can easily convey to the readers how each moment feels. The writer has the power to tell the reader how to feel, taste, smell, hear, and see things. It is a more intimate experience. To elaborate, here is an excerpt from the murderer’s point of view from the book Complicity by Iain Banks: “You hear the car after an hour and a half. During that time you’ve been here in the darkness, sitting on the small telephone seat near the front door, waiting. You only moved once, after half an hour, when you went back through the kitchen to check on the maid.”

It allows the writers to talk to the reader. The reader will have a strong bond with the story considering that the writer can ask questions that remain unanswered, and give the reader the opportunity to fill in the gaps mentally. To elaborate, here is an excerpt from the book Room by Emma Donoghue: “Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. Was I minus numbers? Hmm? Ma does a big stretch. Up in Heaven. Was I minus one, minus two, minus three — ?”

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