This week, we will be continuing on with our POV Series, and next up is Second Person.
Second Person can be pretty tricky, so let’s get to it!
Second Person POV
When writing in Second Person POV, you will use pronouns such as “you,” “your,” and “our.”
Did you see what I did there? Or again?
Second Person POV is often used when writing things such as
- Instructionals / Step By Step / Tutorials
- Blog Posts
- Choose Your Own Adventure
I like how The Write Life describes writing in Secon Person POV for fiction:
“In fiction, pure second-person POV uses the perspective of a single character, the protagonist, to tell the story. This character is well-defined, with habits and traits and a unique personality. The reader is simply placed “behind” this character, seeing and experiencing the world through his eyes, body and mind.”
Second Person POV also lends itself best to writing in Present Tense rather than Past Tense. Though Present Tense is becoming far more common, it can be jarring if not done correctly. We never want to pull our reader out of the moment, and a misphrased or poorly written Present-Tense sentence can do just that in an instant.
If you choose to write a fiction novel in Second Person POV, be careful not to fall into the trap of writing in a “list of actions” style.
“First, you do this thing. Then, you see this thing. You do an action, and you hear a thing.”
Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?
But never fear! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
If you find yourself wanting to try out this style of writing, I would recommend studying it a bit first. And the best way to study a form of writing is to READ!
Goodreads as a great list of recommended Second-Person books which you can find Here.
Second Person POV is also great for more experienced writers who wish to push themselves outside their comfort zones. Instead of picking an obscure genre to practice writing in, why not choose a more obscure POV style?
There are 2 main types of Second Person POV, with only very subtle differences. Grammar Girl give us two great examples
Singular Second Person POV
Before you go to London, remember to leave your keys under the doormat. I’ll miss you.
Here, we are addressing only one person, hence Singluar.
Plural Second Person POV
“Class, you need to be in your seats when the principal arrives. Tom and Jerry, I’m speaking to you as well. By the way, are these comic books yours?”
Here, the teacher is addressing multiple people, but still only using a single pronoun. You may also see the word “y’all” which is a Southern America abbreviation for “you all.”
Stay tuned for our final part in the POV Series!