Writer's Commentary: Once in a Lifetime

On Post: Once in a Lifetime
Date: January 4

Generally speaking, I do like to write in second person. Despite “including” the reader as the lead, I find it pretty distancing. Like, I know I am not going up the stairs to the spooky house, I am reading a story. By telling me otherwise, you force me to consider the lie of it. It’s a lot easier to hook someone and make them accept suspension of reality when you don’t inform them they are right in the middle of the action when they can easily see they are sitting on their couch.
It is admittedly just my own personal take on it, but there it is.
Yes, despite this, I went ahead and wrote this in second person. So the question is why?
Well, the first answer is pretty obvious and not all that sexy and it is that I had not written in second person yet and the whole point of this endeavor is to try and challenge myself. Also, over 31 days, you want to switch things up via style, genre, etc and doing something not in first or third is a way to do that.
The second is that it mirrors the presentation of the song. The Heads—as all their real friends call them—are singing to YOU and making the story talk to YOU just made sense to me in light of that.
One email I got did ask me where the “you” in question is coming back from and, truth be told, I don’t entirely know. I do know it is either war or prison, but I could never settle on which one it should be and, to be honest, liked that ambiguity. I thought if I didn’t know, it would not nudge the piece one way or another. For at least one reader, it worked.

My explanation not ring true? Do you have questions that this piece left unanswered? Reach out and touch me at tim.g.stevens@gmail.com or @ungajje on the Twitter. And, as always, spread the word.