Should I Write In Second Person Point of View?

Second Person POV Definition: This narration addresses the reader as the protagonist, using “you” and “you all” pronouns.

Second person is rarely, almost never, used in literature. Most readers feel it’s unnatural and pulls them out of the story. There are a few second person books such as Choose Your Own Adventure and Bright Lights, Big City, but overall, this POV is more for guides, self-help books, advertising, poetry, and lyrics.

Since second person is so rarely used, should you bother trying to write in this POV? Well, anything is possible when it comes to writing. You can always try. There are just somethings to consider.

Advantages:
Because second person is rarely used in fiction, there really aren’t any advantages for it in the sense of traditional storytelling.

However, that doesn’t mean second person is a no no. After all, it worked for Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney. For second person to work, the reader has to suspend all disbelief and believe what the author is telling is true. Most of the time, a reader picks up a book to be entertained, but if the reader wants an experience deeper than entertainment value, second person might work. Second person is a good POV if you want to go outside traditional storytelling. If you’re a writer who loves risks, experimenting, and using non-traditional techniques, give second person a try.

 

Disadvantages:
While most readers like to pretend they’re in the story, they themselves don’t want to be the protagonist. They like forming bonds with characters and reading about other people.

This POV is just jarring and unnatural to readers. Nobody likes anybody telling them what they are doing or feeling.

 

Note: Second person is not the same as breaking the fourth wall, when the protagonist or narrator addresses the audience.

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