December / January Flash Fiction Challenge: Try a new perspective

 In Writing Challenge

All About Writing’s latest writing challenge offers the winner a literary assessment on 5000 words of writing worth R 2750 / £ 150 or a voucher to the same value to use on one of our courses or programmes.

This month, we’re  inviting you to play with Point of View in an unusual way – to see what effect it creates. We’re seeking flash fiction written from the second-person perspective. Write no more than 250 words. Paste your entry into the body of an email and send to by midnight on 31 January 2020.

Second person can be used to achieve a number of different effects:

  • “You come into the room, take off your dress . . .” Using “you” gives us the impression of a character removed from himself, as though she were watching herself from a distance.
  • Second person is most commonly used in combination with first person, where a first person narrator addresses the reader. Jane Eyre, for example, speaking of Mr Rochester, famously said: “Reader, I married him.”
  • You can address an implied audience less explicitly, with phrases like: “You wouldn’t think so, would you”, or “a nasty habit, I know.” It gives a sense of intimacy between writer and reader, as though they are being directly addressed.
  • You can use second person to address another character – this character could be present, absent or dead. It can be done in letters.
  • It can even be a good way of introducing a slightly unreliable character, if he protesteth too much and keeps harping on about something.
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