Consider if Mc Inerney instead opted for first-person, and we had: ‘I'm not the kind of guy who would do this, but I'm at a club…’“In this instance, first-person is inviting the reader to believe what they're telling them. There is no debate about what kind of person you are or if these actions happened.
You are, and they did, and we know that because there is no functional difference between the reader and the character.”As Bahr hints, the second-person narrator can bypass the ‘unreliability’ of first-person narrators.
If ever there was a rule that most editors and publishers agree on, it’s this: don’t write a novel with a second-person point of view.
In fact, that’s exactly the feedback Jay Mc Inerney got when he was drafting his debut novel.“I wrote the first draft in six weeks during the summer of 1983.
When characters tell their own tales, we often wonder how the truth of the story might be filtered — either by their selective memory or lack of 20-20 introspection. Jemisin’s Hugo-winning You’re the mother of two children, but now one of them is dead and the other is missing. You discover all of this when you come home from work one day.
With a second-person narrator, readers are told what to feel, think, and see — and they usually have no reason to doubt it. House empty, too empty, tiny little boy all bloody and bruised on the den floor.
Cast in the story, we feel more involved in the discourse.
Here’s a piece of advice from editor Kate Angelella: “If an author wanted to try writing in second-person POV, I would encourage them to do so — so long as it's a purposeful choice.
When I told my best friend and future editor Gary Fisketjon what I was doing he said that he hoped I wasn’t trying to write an entire novel in the second person.
I was too embarrassed to tell him that that was precisely what I was doing.”However, Mc Inerney persevered, and in 1984 he published You are in a nightclub talking to a girl with a shaved head. All might come clear if you could just slip into the bathroom and do a little more Bolivian Marching Powder.