Why do writers write in second person?

1 Answer
May 3, 2016

Often, it's because they are too embarrassed to confront the fact that they are writing about themselves.


Second-person narrative is by far the least common form. One I remember quite well is an article by Moon Zappa (Frank's daughter) writing about the struggle of being a one-hit wonder, fifteen or twenty years on. Instead of confronting directly the fact that these things happened to her, she phrased everything in terms like "You don't have any money saved and everyone assumes you're still rich." The level of denial in this approach just reinforces the intense shame and helplessness she obviously felt.

It is also the narrative of choice for hipster travel articles in magazines like MAXIM and VICE. It enables writers to describe adventures in brothels and opium dens without admitting to having actually visited them.