Someone asked me a very on point question the other day. We always hear of writing in first person point of view ie Once upon a time I took the subway to Olympus and the third person point of view Once upon a time Suzie took an Uzi and shot all the zombies to bits. See the difference? So the question was, if we know first person and we know third person point of view… What is second person point of view.

Well, it’s tricky. As anyone who has studied a foreign language can tell you upon reflection, the second person point of view is the “You” point of view. Once upon a time you sailed a ship to the edge of the world. See?

It’s not used often. It’s not often used well. It lends itself to present tense more so than past tense, which is the reverse of the other story telling veins. However, when it is done well it can be a powerful voice, the kind of story telling vehicle that haunts the reader and is difficult to shake off the next day. No matter how you try.

Leo Tolstoy used it, Margaret Atwood, Jay McInerney, and Nathaniel Haythorn. Sometimes they used it in combination with the first person POV. That works well. As it does in this week’s song. I love Bob Seger’s Turn The Page. I loved Metallica’s cover of it, too, but there is something so effortlessly poignant in the saxophone of Seger’s version- plays at the heart strings and lets loose the emotions. Forget alcohol to loosen the inhibitions, Seger does it in three minutes.

So, check out how he uses second person to set the stage, build the world, introduce you to the main character (himself) but from a distance, through the lens of the second person POV. Then when he hits you with the first person chorus, the emotional punch is all the greater.

And see, you’ve learned something and have a great seventies classic to go download- c’mon, you know you want to.

Enjoy 🙂 Make it a great week, my friends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3khH9ih2XJg

 

“Turn The Page”

On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha
You can listen to the engine moanin’ out its one note song
You can think about the woman, or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do
When you’re riding sixteen hours and there’s nothing there to do
And you don’t feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through
Here I am, on a road again
There I am, on the stage
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, turn the page
Well, you walk into a restaurant all strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you as you’re shaking off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you, but you just want to explode
Most times you can’t hear ’em talk, other times you can
All the same old clichés, is it woman, is it man?
And you always seem outnumbered, so you don’t dare make a standHere I am, on a road again
There I am, on the stage
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, turn the page

Out there in the spotlight you’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy, you try to give away
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play

Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed
With the echoes from the amplifiers ringin’ in your head
You smoke the day’s last cigarette, remembering what she said

Here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, turn the page

Here I am, on a road again
There I am, on the stage, yeah
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, there I go

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner

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