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How To Pay Your Debts

How to Pay Your Debts

DISCLAIMER

THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. I AM IN NO MEANS A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. THIS WAS A SHORT STORY I WROTE FOR CLASS ON “HOW TO WRITE IN SECOND PERSON.”

How to Pay Your Debts

Embracing the ‘You’: Short Stories in Second-Person

What if you dared to write differently? Ever thought of adopting the second person narrative, where the author speaks directly to the reader using “you”? Let’s embark on an exploration of an unusual, yet compelling, narrative style – the second-person narrative. Although it’s less common than its first and third person counterparts, it brings a unique flavor to storytelling that can make your work stand out.

Understanding Second-Person Narrative

Second person narrative is a form of storytelling where the author speaks directly to the reader, referring to them as ‘you’. This unique approach turns the reader into the protagonist of the story, involving them in the narrative more directly than first or third-person. It transforms reading into a more interactive experience, blurring the line between author and reader.

However, mastering second-person narrative is not an easy task. It’s a delicate balancing act. You have to ensure that ‘you’ remains a flexible, relatable figure throughout the story. At the same time, you need to provide enough specificity to keep the narrative engaging and believable.

The Effectiveness of Second-Person Narrative

The beauty of second-person narrative lies in its ability to foster an intimate bond between the reader and the story. By placing the reader in the protagonist’s shoes, you make them an active participant in the narrative. This immersive approach can elicit strong emotional responses, as the reader can directly relate to the character’s experiences.

This form of narrative is particularly effective in evoking introspection. Readers will see themselves in the heart of the action and are more likely to contemplate their own actions and reactions in similar situations which can be incredibly impactful and memorable.

The Usage of Second-Person Narrative

While second person narrative is less commonly used than other perspectives, it finds its place in various forms of literature, including short stories, novels, and even poetry. It’s also common in interactive fiction, where the reader gets to decide the course of the story, as well as in self-help books, which often speak directly to the reader to provide advice and guidance.

The challenge of writing in second-person narrative lies in maintaining the relatability of ‘you’ while preventing the narrative from becoming monotonous or overbearing. Authors who master this narrative form often produce works that are both unique and deeply engaging, breaking the conventions of traditional storytelling.

How to Write in Second-Person

Here are some quick tips:

  • Know Your Reader: Consider who your “you” is to make the narrative relatable.
  • Consistency is Key: Stay consistent with your ‘you’ to avoid reader confusion.
  • Convey Experience: Use ‘you’ to evoke feelings and experiences, strengthening reader engagement.

Challenges

Despite its advantages, second-person narrative has challenges. Some readers might resist the assumptions made about ‘them’, and the constant use of ‘you’ can become repetitive. To overcome this, begin with small pieces and read works by authors like Jay McInerney and Lorrie Moore, who mastered the second person narrative.

From Diaz to Debts: Writing a Second-Person Short Story

Imagine if you could engage your readers by addressing them directly. I stumbled upon this idea while reading Junot Diaz’s The Cheater’s Guide to Love, a masterful tale written in the second-person. This ignited my imagination to create my own piece in a similar style, leading to the creation of How to Pay Your Debts.

Discovering Second-Person Narrative: Junot Diaz’s Influence

Junot Diaz’s unique storytelling style opened my eyes to the immersive world of second-person narrative. The directness and the conversational tone of The Cheater’s Guide to Love left an impression on me. The synopsis of The Cheater’s Guide to Love follows the tumultuous life of Yunior, who struggles to mend his heart after a failed relationship. Diaz’s decision to use the second-person narrative intensifies the reader’s emotional connection to Yunior’s dilemma. 

Unveiling How to Pay Your Debts

Emulating Diaz’s style, How to Pay Your Debts directly addresses the reader, weaving a tale about overcoming financial hardships. The “you” in the story is a character grappling with debt and the subsequent emotional turmoil, making choices that the reader can closely experience and empathize with.

The directness of Diaz’s storytelling style in The Cheater’s Guide to Love inspired the tone of How to Pay Your Debts. I focused on the character’s journey and used the second-person to foster a deep connection between the reader and the protagonist’s struggles. Moreover, just like Diaz, I maintained consistency with your ‘you’ throughout the narrative.

Final Thoughts

Writing in the second-person is an adventurous journey. It requires careful crafting but can lend a unique, personal touch to storytelling. Drawing inspiration from Junot Diaz’s evocative second person narrative, How to Pay Your Debts is a testament to the power of this narrative style. It fosters an intimate bond between reader and protagonist, plunging the reader into the heart of the story. I discovered a whole new world with Diaz, hopefully readers will uncover the realm of second-person narrative through this story as well.

So, now you understand what second-person narrative is. Give my story How to Pay Your Debts a read and enjoy!

How to Pay Your Debts