Point of View: Second Person

The least used and most difficult point of view, second person is usually neglected but that always makes me want to try it. 😀 Second person uses a “you” narrator and is best used as instructions or commands. The most common places you’ll find it are in instruction manuals, cookbooks, and other nonfiction places, but a few brave authors have succeeded in writing great second person stories.

The best second person story I’ve read is “How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)” by Junot Díaz (read part of it, or listen to the author read it). It’s superb (and quite funny!).

At its best, second person fully engages the reader by making the reader an active participant in the story. At its worst, second person alienates and/or bores the reader. It’s hard to do well, but when it is done well, it’s delightful. Choose Your Own Adventure books often fit in category as well.


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