[Writing Prompt] Second Person Savvy

Second person. Sounds scary. How can you possibly manage to write a story in the second person without sounding as if you’re writing the text for a Dungeon’s & Dragons campaign[1. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…] or a Choose Your Own Adventure?

Well, mainly by being aware that you shouldn’t. Remember that and you should be fine 😉

The Prompt

Write A Story In The Second Person

But in all seriousness, I think this is quite a natural way to write if you focus on the voice. Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, but I think we talk this way quite a lot when relaying experiences to our friends (“You know that way when you’re running late and the cat throws up in the doorway and for some reason your keys are not on the hook by the door but instead in the bread bin? That’s the day a whacking great truck pulls out in front of you and drives at four miles an hour and just as you’re thinking ‘hey, that latch looks a bit loose’, he slams on the breaks and sheds a full load of packing peanuts all over you and your car and the road ahead of you.”).

Tips

  • If you need an example, take a look at the opening page of Bright Lights, Big City, by Jay McInerney.
  • Remember that second voice pulls your reader directly into the story. It’s a great way to create a visceral reaction in the reader. Why not make it exciting, thrilling?
  • Keep the story short if you’re not confident in this form
  • Allow the story to suck if you have to, but finish it and ask yourself what you’ve learned. File this away and try it again some time soon.

Go!

14 thoughts on “[Writing Prompt] Second Person Savvy”

  1. That was easier, quicker, and shorter than expected. Only 233 words, but it does what I want, so okay.

  2. I love second person. 🙂

    Ended up writing two flash pieces today — one is “true” second person, the other a first person speaking to second person story (“I saw you,…etc”). 🙂 Lots of fun!

    1. Maybe THAT’s what it is. Not that I’m Scottish, just that I talk to myself all the time… Only way to be sure of a sensible audience after all.

  3. This whole challenge started a pile of ideas. I was writing a lot of prompt unrelated stories this last two days.

    But I wanted to write something else today, and checked the prompt. I thought is was going to be a disaster.

    But I more or less like what I had written. The fingers were just flying and the point of view stopped being confusing in the second paragraph.

  4. Sounds interesting. I’ll try it. Never really did this before so it should be a challenge Will check back when I’m through. Have to find something to write about first, now that I have the POV

    And, Julie, I will check back. It’s nearly two thirty in the afternoon here and just got back from the store, but you will see this smiling face later this afternoon or tonight. LOL

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