Monday, 28 February 2011

The Second Person

Most books are written in first person I, or third person he/she/it. I have read that only the most creative and experimental write in second person - the "you" point of view. 
So with this in mind (she says) I am reworking a story into second person as I also understand that it is the least used point of view in fiction, and there's nothing like experimental to get the brain cells moving.

Second person requires the reader not only to step into the head of the protagonist, but into his very shoes. 
The writer has to become at one with the reader and convince the reader that the events are happening to him personally and that he is seeing and experiencing these events through his own eyes. writing-in-second-person-point-of-view

It's also said that 2nd person writing can become annoying for the reader.
Good writers shouldn't have a problem with this, should they ?

Here's a couple of "off the cuff " paragraphs written this morning. I will post the other reworked story when it's complete - and if it's not too annoying. 

You probably won’t believe this because you don’t seem to know it yourself.
 Maybe you do but don’t talk about it or rather you don’t talk to me about it. 
So that’s why I have to say this because I know, and even if you think I don’t understand, I have felt what you feel and it scares me too. It's scary when your thoughts appear to have a will of their own and the world around you carries on regardless. 
That’s what we don’t have and that’s why you are afraid, as I am afraid.
For if we don’t have control, then we are nothing. 
Like this morning, and every morning since it happened. 
You are awake and you lie there in your bed and you wonder why you are trapped and encased like a mummy in a tomb where there is no light, because you don’t want to open your eyes. Then you realise that the sheets and the covers are wrapped in a tangle around your legs where you thrashed and fought in your sleep against so many evils. You muscles are stiff and taut and all that moves are your eyeballs behind the lids. You keep your eyes closed for as long as you can, trying to move first your toes and then your legs and arms, slowly remembering that you are a being in the here and now and that the terrors of the last few hours are not with you in this room.

To be continued ... perhaps



Anonymous said...

I like your 'example'. I think I have read parts of a book written like that. In that short piece it is effective...but a whole book? I am not too sure........

Lexia said...

I am not sure that it would work for a whole book, either. Maybe a short story - that's what I was originally doing.
It's been pointed out (on TalkBack) that the first paragraph isn't actually second person because of the ME's and I's in it.The second paragraph is definately second person, but whether it "works" for a longer piece we will see !
Thanks for the comment.