POV talk: second person

There are many POVs with questions surrounding them. I want to break them all down and discuss the biggest concerns in different posts. Today, I’ll talk about second person POV.

SECOND person

Second person is one of my favorite POVs to read. When it’s done well, it creates a powerful story.

It addresses the readers as “you,” but it also could be like the MC is talking to a specific person while the readers watch. For example, I’ve seen writers write to a parent. Since I’m not a parent (of a child), it feels like I’m watching someone tell this story to someone else.

Perhaps I just like people watching.

How to write in SECOND POV?

To write in second POV, pick one character for the MC to talk to and call them “you.” This could be someone the MC knows, the reader, a younger version of themselves, etc. The story revolves around them. So, for example:

From that moment on, I wondered how long I could go without you in my life. I didn’t want to always be afraid anymore. I never could escape the anxiety you gave me though.

Not the happiest example, but it does get the point across.

How to decide to write in SECOND POV?

This is a hard one because second POV isn’t common. I see it a lot more in short stories than anything else. Many writers seem afraid to write in second POV. But if your character has a central character they are in conflict with or telling the story to, it could work.

The cool thing about writing is that redrafting and editing is always an option. So, try out second POV, and if it works, great. If not, try another POV, but at least you have the foundation of your story down.

Why write in SECOND POV?

The main answer to this is uniqueness. It’s not used a lot, so it feels like a pleasant rarity to read.

What are some good SECOND POV examples?


Short Story:

Of everything, if it’s done well, it works wonders. Second POV isn’t explored enough.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, leave a comment below!

Click here for POV Talk: FIRST person.
Click here for POV talk: THIRD person.

4 thoughts on “POV talk: second person

  1. “You” by Caroline Kepnes is the first—and still my favorite—book I’ve read employing 2nd person POV. It was thoroughly creepy and wonderful. A Netflix series based on it is currently running, but I haven’t watched any of it, as of yet. I almost always do 1st and 3rd person POV in past tense, but have been experimenting with present tense. I don’t know about tackling 2nd person, though I may give it a go someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo I haven’t read that one before. I’ll have to check it out.

      My go-to is 1st person present tense.

      I think it’s good to experiment with different POVs. Definitely helps build and diversify your writing skills. I hope you do give it a try one day!

      Liked by 1 person

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