Fleet Sparrow invites us to explore the first person plural, today
Lately, I’ve been fascinated by how many times people will say “we” when they really mean “I”. There’s the courtly “royal we”, the Borg-like hive mind “we”, the “you and what army? we”, etc. So, for a challenge, write your story in the first-person plural.
Think about who would be using the plural first-person. What are they hiding about themselves? What are they telling? How many is the “we” including: one, two, or hundreds? And, for fun, just notice how naturally or unnaturally this “we” comes to you when writing.
Fleet is an avid fanficcer and smut lover who enjoys playing with long-held ideas and figuring out how to break them into something new. Zie loves Batman/DC Comics, writing, reading, music, and puns.
Y’all can find zir on Twitter (sometimes) at @FleetSparrow; on Substack (rarely) at fleetsparrow.substack.com; and on ArchiveOfOurOwn (often) under the name, you guessed it, FleetSparrow.
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Write A Story In The Second Person
Today we’re taking on the rare point of view: second person. It’s tough to pull this off without sounding like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but we’re going to try.
Write A Story In The Second Person
- This is a rare point of view for a reason: it’s hard to make it sound good. However, there have been some examples that work well: Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City is one.
- How To Get Filth Rich In Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamed, is a more recent example and, interestingly, reads like a self-help book. Consider writing a story in a self-help-y kind of style.
- Halting State by Charles Stross uses Second Person in a novel that features a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game). Role-playing games tend to feature a lot of Second Person in the scenario set-ups, so this is an interesting choice.
- You could, of course, write an ironic Choose Your Own adventure story.
- This story could be a mock-advertising piece — another form that often uses this voice.
- This will probably feel odd, and read strangely, but if you create compelling characters and and an interesting problem for them to solve, readers will stick with you. You’ll probably end up with a fresh feel, even if your plot is not-altogether-original, simply because of the choice of voice.
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In the Second Person, the story is told like this, “You are walking around in the depths of winter and you find yourself shivering”.
It’s not a format that we see much and as a result it can be tricky to pull off. But it’s worth a try if only to show up the advantages of the other points-of-view available to you. Or maybe you’ll be one of those people, like Jay McInerney, who turns it into a work that is acknowledged as a contemporary classic.
Write A Story in the Second Person Perspective Continue reading “[Writing Prompt] Second Person, Awkward”
Today I’m recycling this prompt from March. It offers an innovate way to get into the Second Person (“you do this, you do that”) perspective without making your story sound like a Choose Your Own Adventure.
Write A Story Set in the Second Person
- Are you still collecting story sparks everywhere you go? Try to collect three a day while you’re away from your desk. They will help you on days like this when the StoryADay writing prompt does not suggest characters or a scenario, but rather a technique.
- Read through the prompt from March, and take a look at the links it suggests.