Welcome back from your weekend, everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable one, especially as looking at the numbers from the Anniversary MEGA-Sale, quite a few of you were reading Dead Silver and Unusual Events! Don’t forget to leave reviews! On Amazon, Goodreads, both, or even elsewhere!
Now then, it’s a new week, so that means (obviously, by this point) that it’s time for a new BaBW post. And this week, once again, we’re going to be looking at a topic request from a reader. Which is, in this case, a question of Tense and PoV use.
Now, we’ve actually discussed this a little bit before, talking about perspectives and the differences between the different types of PoV (Points of View, for those confused at the moment). So I’m not going to rehash that here (after all, you can click that link). But that’s not what this reader wanted me to do anyway. No, they had a different question in mind. In the aforelinked and mentioned article, I’d discussed that it was up to you, the writer, to decide which PoV to use and where. And this reader wanted a little help with that. They wanted to know how they were supposed to choose.
So today, we’re going to talk a little bit about that. And, granted, I don’t expect it to be that long of a post, because the answer is both simple and not … the trick being that the “and not” portion is mostly on you, the writer. If you’re looking for me to tell you “this is the better choice for your story,” I can tell you right now you’re not going to get that, because I don’t know your story (and that’s not an invitation to begin messaging me hundreds of story ideas and asking how to write them, just to be clear). I can give you a little bit of nudging in the right direction, but in the end I can’t really give a “proper” answer to which one you should use because it’s not my story.
Outside of “Don’t use second-person,” anyway. 99.999% of times, that is the right answer. In fact, unless you’re ghost-writing a Choose Your Own Adventure book, just don’t use second person, all right? Safer for all of us that way (also, don’t think you’ll be the one to buck the system, you likely won’t be).
Oh, and just in case, here’s that link to the piece on perspectives again. If you haven’t read it, you probably should do so now.