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Writing in 2nd person

You, I am writing this blog post for you...

Essentially, this is second person...

Writing in 2nd person (aka direct address) is one of my favourite techniques when writing. It gives you as the writer a whole new connection with your readers and allows you to experiment with dramatic irony, unreliable narrators and perspectives.

It can be a difficult perspective to get your head around, especially as there are so many ways to do this. For example you could write from 1st person perspective and directly address the reader from the protagonist or 3rd person directly speaking to the readers as a narrator. You can also consider writing in past tense or present tense, you may even want to write from a future perspective? Or you might even decide to break the fourth wall right at the end of your book? You have so many options.

KEY TIP: Timing is everything!

When are you revealing 2nd person? When are you revealing certain information? Is your narrator lying? What do the rest of your characters know at this point?

Why write in second person?


  • A direct line of communication with the reader

  • The perfect way to break the 'fourth wall'

  • An opportunity to incorporate the reader into your writing

  • A great way to drop information/ plot reveals on the reader


  • Can be quite limiting

  • A difficult perspective to write from

  • Very easy to confuse and overwhelm the reader

  • It's 'less traditional' than 1st/3rd person, therefore some readers may not like it.

It's different, but sometimes different can be good. If you are interested in this style of writing, then perhaps try it out? There is nothing wrong with experimenting. No one is expecting you to write a full novel out of it, just try something.

Or if you want to know the different between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person?

Here's a example of a 2nd person perspective...

Through the Eyes

Sophie Tate

You show me everything. I am treated to the most extraordinary and intimate sights and you share them with only me. I see your secrets, your experiences and your most precious moments. You have given me the front seat. I spend my day watching. But the only reason you love me is because you need me.

You make feel like I am special, that I am your favourite. You make me stand out. You dress me up with shimmer and glitter to make us look attractive. Suddenly people are drawn to me, it’s flattering. You don’t do it for me though; you use me for you own gain and your own attention. I observe and I notice that I am not the only one. You put diamonds on your ears and beautiful tints on your lips and paint fantastic colours on your nails. I’m certainly not special.

You don’t realise how delicate I am. How much you need me. You’d be lost without me there for you. You forget that I am fragile, you blind me with the bright rays on a summer day, you coat my hair in black goop and finally you stay up late and don’t allow me to rest. It hurts, it bruises and dries me out.

When things get bad and I show you something you didn’t want to see, I scar you with the image. Then you punish me by blurring me out with water or worse, closing me off from seeing for a while. You decide you no longer want to use me and rely on the others. They can make you feel better, but I can’t. All I can do is show you what’s there. It’s not my fault. I’m just there for you, like all the others.

I showed you what was there. I adjusted from the brightness; the light came through when you opened the door. There they were. Together. You saw what was there, it was right there. You ran; I don’t blame you. The sight hurt me too. You didn’t speak to him for a while, I showed you the wrong and for a while you listened to that but then he told you something else, played with your mind and manipulated you into forgiving him. Your brain, your ears and even your mouth tricked you into thinking different. Suddenly what you saw wasn’t so important anymore. Your thoughts and the things you heard from him took over.

I can only show you what is there, I can’t help what it is. I promise I don’t lie. How could I? I just want to show you the truth. You don’t always see. You take what you want to see and trust the others, you listen, taste, feel, think. I am the one who knows the most, who has seen the most-but you don’t care. They change what you see by telling you lies; they tell you what they you wanted to see. You don’t care what I think. I don’t matter. You use me.


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