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Second person

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Second person

A small number of novels have been written in the second person, frequently paired with the present tense. A relatively prominent example is Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, where the central character is clearly modeled on himself, and he seems to have decided that second-person point of view would create even more intimacy than first-person, creating the feeling that the reader is blind, in a sense, and the plot is leading him or her along. Another example is Damage by A.M. Jenkins, in which the second-person is used to show how distant the depressed main character has become from himself.
The second person format has been used in at least a few popular novels, most notably Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, and Tom Robbins' Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas as well as many short stories. When done well, the readers imagine themselves within the action, which can be used to place them in different situations, for example in Iain Banks' novel Complicity, where the chapters that deal with the actions of a murderer are in the second person. It is almost universally agreed that second-person narration is hard to manage, especially in a serious work. Other examples of second-person narrative are the Choose Your Own Adventure children's books, in which the reader actually makes decisions and jumps around the book accordingly; most interactive fiction; and different chapters from many novels written by Chuck Palahniuk, like his novel Diary.
An even rarer, but stylish version of second person narration takes the form of a series of imperative statements with the implied subject "you", as in this example from Lorrie Moore's "How to Become a Writer":
"Decide that you like college life. In your dorm you meet many nice people. Some are smarter than you. And some, you notice, are dumber than you. You will continue, unfortunately, to view the world in exactly these terms for the rest of your life."
-- Source: Wikipedia (e)

Writer's Glossary:Second person
Tags:Definition, Writing, Writing Definition
Comment:I find this the most intrusive POV, almost certainly because it is so uncommon. This isn't to say that I can't enjoy a second person narrative, but I find that I never fully immerse in the story, as I am continually reminded that I am reading.

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