How to Write in Second Person

Updated July 12, 2018

Writing in the second person can be a challenging but fun way to write a story or any kind of narrative. Instead of reading about someone else's experiences, the reader of a second person narrative is inserted into the story. In addition to a creative way to write a story, second person narrative is also used in instructional writing and in interactive stories and games. Read on to learn more.

Write "you" and "your" instead of "he," "she," "his," "her," "I," "me" and "my" when referring to the main character or characters in your story. The reader is the protagonist, or taking on the persona of the protagonist, in a second person narrative.

Use the understood you when giving directions in second person. "Turn on the light" is a second person statement, as the word "you," although not stated, is the subject of the sentence.

Encourage your reader's participation by asking him questions. Interactive fiction is a form of fiction written this way, as the reader is the protagonist and is able to make decisions throughout the story. Second person narrative is also used this way in many text-based and even graphically-based role-playing video games, as the gamer must make decisions that affect his game.

Give the reader a persona to which she can relate. Write your story or narrative in a way that the protagonist's actions are not controversial and can be justified by the majority of readers. The second person narrative can only work if the reader agrees with what she is reading she is doing.

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