Second person point of view in fiction

Second person point of view in fiction creates distance ─ for a character but not necessarily for the reader. When a narrator says “you” she means herself, a character, and not you, the reader. This is a tool to allow a character (“you”) to reveal emotionally painful events, which she deems too difficult to express directly in the first person narrator mode. Think how people frequently talk like this. It’s a way of pushing repugnant feelings away, but in fiction it can carry greater emotional impact than first person point of view because the character is not telling the reader directly how she feels. With first person point of view the reader is always conscious that a narrator is telling him something. With second person point of view the reader comes to realize the depth of the character’s feelings, and whenever a reader comes to a conclusion about a character himself it has a stronger impact than if a narrator or another character told him. Why? Because the reader is beginning to identify with the character. Second person point of view is a structural technique to bring the reader into the story.

Use second person point of view to reveal emotion

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