In Monday's post on POV, Kitty mentioned one of my favorite books Bright Lights Big City which is famously written in the second person
"You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy. You are at a nightclub talking to a girl with a shaved head."
Kitty asked "I've often wondered if McInerney had to really sell the 2nd person, because some people have a knee-jerk reaction to it, or did his writing sell it for him?"
I'll opine that the writing is what carries this book. Using 2nd person POV was a device to bring the reader along with the narrator, in the closest narrative proximity possible. There is no "you and I" here, certainly no "they" there is only "us."
I've read other books in the second person POV notably CharlesBenoit's YOU which I might have enthused about here a time or two, but it's a tough POV to carry off well.
ADD ON: I just read a great piece in Publishers' Weekly by Angelina Mirabella on writing her novel in the second person.
Long time blog reader Julie Weathers gave me a new favorite phrase on Monday too: "Holy rolling armadillos."
That pretty much had us all in stitches here in the office.
And I really liked Colin Smith's list of questions about how to figure out which POV suits the story:
* How emotionally intense is the story? How closely do I want the reader to feel what the MC feels?
* How important is it that the reader is as surprised by plot developments as the MC?
* Do I want the reader to have a broader perspective of the story than the MC? Perhaps there are multiple plot threads with minor characters that your MC isn't aware of, but play into the main plot.
* What's the focus of your story: solving a mystery step-by-step, knowing the solution to the mystery and seeing how your MC solves it (like Columbo), the hunt for a bad guy, or the unraveling of a deadly scheme? I think you can use pretty much any POV for these scenarios, but some favor particular POVs more than others (e.g., Columbo-style is probably best as 3rd Omniscient; the step-by-step would be 1st or 3rd Limited like Harry Potter).
On Wednesday's blog post on characters' names, oh-so-useful Felix Buttonweezer (I think there are at least two spellings on that floating around!) reappeared. This was immediate license for all the blog commenters to further build his backstory. We're going to need a Buttonweezer Bible here before too long.
I did Facebook post on what I found to be an insightful comment at LibraryThing about building tension in historical thrillers.
Thursday was a really odd day. I posted the details of why on my Facebook page.
This week I paid my annual AAR dues which may seem like a small thing, but I remember when I wasn't an AAR member and how much I wanted to join as soon as I could. For those of you who aren't familiar with AAR, it's the literary and dramatic agents professional group. There's a Canon of Ethics which members agree to abide by, and a minimum standard for associate and full membership.
Some very reputable agents elect not to belong to AAR, but I'm very happy to fork over my dues and count myself among those who do.
I can't believe next week is the last week in January! Time is just flying by...even without those flying cars or personal jetpacks that I'm still hoping for!