Is there any way to write with it without seeming like an asshole, and without it being a Choose Your Own Adventure
book? Because I'd really like to experiment with it a bit, but, well, I doubt it would be received well.
Bigonkers! is Magic
What do you mean by "Second-Person"?
Basically, referring to the protagonist as "you"
It's generally considered pretentious in traditional literature, from my experience, and that is just something I find sad, as it has potential to be really creative.
edited 5th Feb '11 7:40:09 PM by Mukora
Bigonkers! is Magic
Make it sound like the writing is recounting past events, rather than telling the reader what they are doing this very moment in-story. Such as "After looking through the files, you found the evidence you needed to convict Mr. Badguy" as opposed to "You are now looking through the files and will find the evidence needed to convict Mr. Badguy".
A nice example we looked at in my short fiction class last semester was "Forever Overheard" by David Foster Wallace (and someone's posted it on their blog
though it's missing some of the section breaks)).
Second-person is tricky, I'd also recommend easing into it, by describing the protagonist a little - and as indirectly as possible. People are very good at pretending to be someone else, but don't like it when they're just told to do it.
You must agree, my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity! My Tumblr
I agree with the above. If you set out the character (persona) through some sort of exposition or introduction, then people would be more likely to go with it. Basically, you write it the same as third or maybe first person but instead of letting the reader get inside your character's head, you get the character to crawl into the reader's head.
A trick that came to mind is a Bourne sort of amnesia scenario. Then what will take talent is to make the character's choices generally so logical and natural, given the clues available, that the reader would tend to agree with the choices. So you can't play genre stupid.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are probably right.
I saw this one non-fiction book by a parent of a disabled kid that used second-person perspective talking about the kid. You could maybe imitate that, have the Literary Agent Hypothesis
be someone recounting the adventures of a person they care about to that person. Especially if it's stuff they wouldn't remember, or would've had a very different perspective on.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
turning and turning
There's a Jodi Picoult book told that way. All of the characters talk quite happily away in first person but they always refer to Willow, the child involved in the plot, as 'you'.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
Happy New Year!
The first couple of chapters of The Frangipani Garden by Barbara Hanrahan is done in second person. It's quite well done.
The book Blindsight
has brief sections that are told in the second person, all prefaced by the phrase "Imagine you are [x]". Example:
... Imagine you are a prisoner of war. You've got to admit you saw it coming. You've been crashing tech and seeding biosols for a solid eighteen months; that's a good run by anyone's standards. Realist saboteurs do not, as a rule, enjoy long careers...
The rest of the book is first person, but those sections are a neat addition.
edited 11th Feb '11 5:50:19 PM by Parakus
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