#EdenLit - Lessons: Second Person Narrative

#EdenLit - Lessons: Second Person Narrative

Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Using First Person Narrative (perspective) can make a story very one dimensional. The author must work very hard to remember that this is a happening told only from one perspective, that of the character being featured. Since we cannot know what the others in the story are thinking and feeling, unless the story line includes empaths, we are left with a very one sided view of what has happened, or is happening. Our next subject is Second Person Narrative and it is even MORE restrictive and difficult to maintain in a full story. Without being able to answer the questions we have about the other people and the other things they see, feel and hear it is much harder to set the scene or build characters.

Second Person Narrative is very difficult to maintain and fairly under used in literature. It involves turning the listener/reader into a participant in the story. It uses "you" as the focal point perspective and attempts to bind the reader to the plot line, and to draw him or her into the story in a very intricate and personal way.
This style can be difficult to handle, but it can effectively place the reader in unfamiliar situations which the narrator can then explain. For example the narrator can directly tell the reader what he or she should be feeling at that precise moment to better evoke the response the author is hoping to convey. It can be used to instruct the reader to imagine a scene from a first person perspective with a series of imperative statements. It can be effective, but is normally reserved for parts of a work rather than being the total focus of a story. Second Person Narrative is most heavily used in poetry and song lyrics as well as instructive writing.

Second person Narrative can be used in all tenses: Past, present and future. For example: You did that, you are doing this, and soon enough you will start doing that!
Think of this narrative as building a recipe with your reader. You list the ingredients needed, instruct the reader how to combine them and then describe what the product should look, feel, taste like. In this perspective you are telling the reader what they should think and feel, know, and remember. It is a powerful tool it just takes practice to perfect.

In Second person narrative it's very rare to use a perspective since we aren't actually a telepathic race and can't really know what someone else is seeing. This perspective is limited and is more of an instruction to the reader to make them feel what we want them to feel.

Second person narrative allows you to direct the scene in a much more personal and forceful manner BUT it doesn't allow any thought or description FROM your audience, you have to describe everything for them.
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