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Stories tagged 2nd POV

robberhands

Recently I mailed an author the question why he coded his story with the '2nd POV' tag, although it was written in third POV. I didn't receive a reply.

I just used the category search for second POV stories. The first story listed which was actually written in 2nd POV was number 15.

I don't get it. Personally, I didn't like most of the stories I've read which were written in second POV and I assume my dislike is rather common.

Why tagging a story 2nd POV when it's obviously written in first or third person point of view?

tendertouch

Maybe they don't understand what it is? I might start to ignore that tag if it's misused that badly. I'm not generally a fan (though it's nothing like the loathing I have for 3rd person/present tense) so I have mostly just ignored stories sporting the tag.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Why tagging a story 2nd POV when it's obviously written in first or third person point of view?


The author's tag the stories, and few really understand what 2nd POV is.

If a story is incorrectly tagged you can email the webmaster to report it, and they'll usually review the story and contact the author ro have it fixed - it may take time if they're busy on other things.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Personally, I didn't like most of the stories I've read which were written in second POV and I assume my dislike is rather common.


I think it only works well when the reader identifies with the 2-POV character.

I don't enjoy being told that my panties are wet ;)

AJ

robberhands
Updated:

@tendertouch

Maybe they don't understand what it is?

That was my first thought as well. But why use a tag you don't understand? If I wouldn't know what 'Oral Sex' means, I wouldn't use that tag, either. Maybe they misinterpreted '2nd POV'? But how can you misinterpred it?

Firts is 'I'. Second is 'you'. Third is 'he/she/it. If your sentences often start with 'I', there is a very high probability that you're writing in first point of view. That isn't exactly rocket science.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I don't enjoy being told that my panties are wet ;)

You nailed it!

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I don't enjoy being told that my panties are wet ;)


Your panties are wet, due to you standing in the river water up to your waist.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Your panties are wet, due to you standing in the river water up to your waist.

I don't wear panties!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

My assumption is any author good enough to pull off a story written in 2POV would not be bothering with SOL.

I could find a few examples of 2POV novels printed by any dead-tree publisher?

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Booked by Kwame Alexander
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrio
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

This is not an exhaustive list, but they aren't easy to find either.

I suggest anyone considering writing in 2POV should read at least a couple of examples by established authors before proceeding. There is a very good reason these are so rare. The situations the choice may be right are very rare, and they are really tough to get right.

Ross at Play

My assumption is any author good enough to pull off a story written in 2POV would not be bothering with SOL.

I could find a few examples of 2POV novels printed by any dead-tree publisher?

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Booked by Kwame Alexander
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrio
The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

This is not an exhaustive list, but they aren't easy to find either.

I suggest anyone considering writing in 2POV should read at least a couple of examples by established authors before proceeding. There is a very good reason these are so rare. The situations the choice may be right are very rare, and they are really tough to get right.

Capt. Zapp

@robberhands

Maybe they misinterpreted '2nd POV'? But how can you misinterpred it?


Perhaps they thought it meant the story is told by more than one MC giving a '2nd POV'?

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I don't wear panties!


Me neither!

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Your panties are wet, due to you standing in the river water up to your waist.


Clever clogs!

AJ

REP

@robberhands

There was a similar discussion in the Forum regarding 2nd POV.

I didn't understand what 2nd POV indicated so I went out on the internet for an explanation. What I found was mostly bloggers presenting their opinions of what it meant and they didn't agree with each other. There are bloggers who think use of the word 'you' makes it 2nd and two others were saying something about putting the reader behind the story. What amazed me was their readers phrased them for their wonderful insight and understanding of the term.

I asked for clarification in the Forum. I think it was Switch Blayde who gave me the best explanation. He would have to explain it, but my understanding is the author is having the narrator put the reader into the story as one of the story's characters by telling the reader what they are doing in the story.

According to the Category search I did there are 152 2nd POV stories posted on SOL. I sampled some of them to see what 2nd POV writing looked like. All of the ones I sampled were 3rd POV in my opinion. Educating all of those stories' authors as to what 2nd POV means would be a major task. Many would point to their sources of what it means and say you are wrong.

Replies:   garymrssn
garymrssn

@REP

put the reader into the story as one of the story's characters by telling the reader what they are doing in the story.


That resembles the way instruction manuals are written.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@garymrssn

That resembles the way instruction manuals are written.


However a 2nd POV instruction manual would say something like:

You are now putting six bolts in the six holes and finger tightening the nuts.

Your wrench just slipped and you skinned your knuckles.

You are now applying band aids to your knuckles.

Replies:   garymrssn  Bondi Beach
Dominions Son

@garymrssn

That resembles the way instruction manuals are written.


About in the same way that an Indy car resembles a Mini Cooper.

garymrssn

@REP

Does 2nd POV require present perfect?

How about:

Next you put six bolts in the six holes and finger tighten the nuts.

or:

After you put six bolts in the six holes, finger tighten the bolts.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP
Updated:

@garymrssn

Neither. In 2nd you are telling the reader what they are seeing, doing, and feeling.

ETA: the difference is in your examples you are telling the reader what they need to do, not what they are doing.

I edited my ETA

Ross at Play

@garymrssn

Does 2nd POV require present perfect?
How about:
Next you put six bolts in the six holes and finger tighten the nuts.
or:
After you put six bolts in the six holes, finger tighten the bolts.

You are correct that instruction manuals are often written in 2POV.
They are usually written with "imperative statements", i.e. commands. Imperative statements are inherently in the second person and the word "you" is rarely used.
They also do not have the tenses with exist for "declarative statements", i.e. present, past, or future; perfect or not; continuous or not; active or passive.

Your example would possibly be written as:

Put the six bolts in the six holes.
Screw nuts onto the six bolts and tighten with your fingers.


In novels that are genuinely written in 2POV, the author uses second-person declarative statements, with a full range of tenses, to describe what the MC did, is doing, or will do, etc. It simply does not sound natural. While it is possible to write some stories in 2POV, those could always be written in 1POV instead.

I would view 2POV tags used here as if they were pictures of a dunce's hat: either the label is wrong (most would be), or the author did not choose the best POV for their particular story.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Switch Blayde

Short stories are more typically 2nd-POV than novels.

Interactive games like Dungeons & Dragons are 2nd-POV.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

imperative statements

Imperative statements are somewhat more common in Latin. The motto of the University of Washington is "Lux Sit". Let there be Light. Lux is light. Sit is the imperative form of esse, to be. This faint strand of information courtesy of Hampton High School, 1959-1962, Latin Class. Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est. All Gaul is divided into three parts (and you have the most gaul of anyone.)

Looking around the net Caesar actually wrote "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres." But I remember it the other way. Its been a long time since high school. I don't remember much from way back then. And don't think I would like to relive it. Especially cafeteria food.

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Its been a long time since high school. I don't remember much from way back then. And don't think I would like to relive it.

Likewise.
My memory from two years of being taught Latin at high school disappears rapidly once I get beyond, "amo, amis, amit, ... amamus? ...

Replies:   robberhands
Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

(and you have the most gaul of anyone.)

Oh, what impudence and effrontery you have!

Many insulting and justified comments have been directed at me on these forums, but no one has ever been so vicious before to suggest I am French! :(

What I think you meant is however beyond my control: I have a hyperactive gall bladder.

robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

My memory from two years of being taught Latin at high school disappears rapidly ...

I had four years of Latin and all I remember are a few fancy phrases.

'Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.'

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

'Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.'

Which roughly translates to 'I'm a pompous prat'.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

Which roughly translates to 'I'm a pompous prat'.

Is there a Latin phrase which doesn't?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Is there a Latin phrase which doesn't?

I was going to say the only one I can think of is 'etcetera', but then, pompous prats would write that as 'et cetera'.

QED.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

QED.

It would be more accurate if you'd end your conclusions with EHE.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

It would be more accurate if you'd end your conclusions with EHE.

I know why you need me; I just don't want to rub your nose in it.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I know why you need me; I just don't want to rub your nose in it.

I wouldn't call it a need, you rather mean a luxury to me.

richardshagrin

@robberhands

EHE.

EHE
Acronym Definition
EHE Education and Human Ecology (college; Ohio State University)
EHE Exceptional Human Experience
EHE Errare Humanum Est (Latin: To Err Is Human)
EHE Enterprise in Higher Education
EHE Extremely High Energy
EHE Expected Horizontal Error (engineering)"

The Latin one is "To make a mistake is human" (to forgive is against company policy.) Is "Err" English? Looks like it is, but I don't see it very often in conversation or print.
"Word Origin and History for err
v.
c.1300, from Old French errer "go astray, lose one's way; make a mistake; transgress," from Latin errare "wander, go astray, be in error," from PIE root *ers- "be in motion, wander around" (cf. Sanskrit arsati "flows;" Old English ierre "angry, straying;" Old Frisian ire "angry;" Old High German irri "angry," irron "astray;" Gothic airziþa "error, deception;" the Germanic words reflecting the notion of anger as a "straying" from normal composure). Related: Erred ; erring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper"

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Is "Err" English? Looks like it is, but I don't see it very often in conversation or print.

"To err on the side of" ... caution (or whatever) is relatively common.

robberhands

@richardshagrin

EHE
Acronym Definition

You overlooked my German origin. 'Ehe' means marriage in German, no acronym at all.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

You overlooked my German origin. 'Ehe' means marriage in German, no acronym at all.

I did not overlook your German origin. I dismissed the possibility that 'Ehe' could have meant marriage on the grounds you wrote it in all-caps. In English, that can only mean it is an acronym. :(

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I did not overlook your German origin. I dismissed the possibility that 'Ehe' could have meant marriage on the grounds you wrote it in all-caps.

Of course, YOU didn't overlook it. The literary Charlie Ribble did. You knew EHE stood for 'errare humanum est'. After all, I was talking about you.

Bondi Beach

@REP

However a 2nd POV instruction manual would say something like:

You are now putting six bolts in the six holes and finger tightening the nuts.

Your wrench just slipped and you skinned your knuckles.

You are now applying band aids to your knuckles.


And on SOL it would continue:

You look up and see the factory owner's niece approaching. ...

bb

BlacKnight

I suspect a lot of the authors who tag their stories "2nd POV" think that it means that there's more than one POV in the story, not that the story is written in 2nd person.

It's one of the tags that's an immediate nope for me. Fiction shouldn't be written in 2nd person unless it's a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@BlacKnight

I suspect a lot of the authors who tag their stories "2nd POV" think that it means that there's more than one POV in the story, not that the story is written in 2nd person.

Capt Zapp also mentioned this. I guess you both are correct, it might be the reason for the misuse of the '2nd POV' tag. Although I wonder why someone would think a story told from different points of view would demand a special tag. That's neither rare nor something readers would need to be warned of.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

That's neither rare nor something readers would need to be warned of.


From reading forum posts, I think it's something of a squick for some readers.

What do others think? Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I think it's something of a squick for some readers ... Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?

I think not. I'd define a squick as something some readers find objectionable no matter how well told the story is.
While multiple viewpoints are easier to get wrong, I don't think readers really want to be "warned" about an author's choice which may be both correct for their story and then well executed.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

What do others think? Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?


no.

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

What do others think? Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?

You are kidding, right? There was no smilie, though. Just in case your question was serious, my answer is no.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

What do others think? Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?

WOW! It's a tough crowd out there tonight, AJ.
I at least had the courtesy to explain why I thought your question was dumb. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

It's a tough crowd out there tonight


Obviously contributors who haven't encountered people who claim they drop a story when they encounter head-hopping :(

I wonder whether those people also 1-bomb such stories.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Should there be a tag for stories told from multiple viewpoints?


No.

Keep in mind, most people don't understand POVs.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


who claim they drop a story when they encounter head-hopping


Head-hopping is not telling a story from multiple POVs. It's doing it incorrectly.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Head-hopping is not telling a story from multiple POVs.


I don't think there's any point rehashing this argument. There's no consensus about what exactly constitutes head-hopping, apart from the fact it involves multiple viewpoints.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

There's no consensus about what exactly constitutes head-hopping

I found a quote that may interest you, AJ.

I have plenty of friends who hop heads all the time. So far as I know, they all write romance, and in the romance category, head-hopping is accepted. Why? Because in a romance novel, the relationship is the most important character in the story. Not the hero. Not the heroine. The relationship. So the reader likes to know what both the hero and heroine are thinking in each scene.

As far as I can tell, this works for my head-hopping friends. I'll bet that 99% of their readers don't know or care that they're head-hopping. Readers just care whether the story is working for them.

REP

@awnlee jawking

There's no consensus about what exactly constitutes head-hopping, apart from the fact it involves multiple viewpoints.


I thought there was a general consensus - head hopping has been defined as the author having a character describe what other characters are thinking when there is no way for the character to know what the other characters think. If you use a different definition, you need to define it.

That is very different from having two of the story's characters present their view points regarding something in the story.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@REP

I thought there was a general consensus - head hopping has been defined as the author having a character describe what other characters are thinking when there is no way for the character to know what the other characters think. If you use a different definition, you need to define it.

If a mere character tells what other characters are thinking or feeling, it's no more than a guess, unless the character is capable of mind-reading. The narrator or the characters themselves have to tell you what happens in their heads to make it head-hopping.

A simple definition for head-hopping is:

The viewpoint shifts between characters without a proper transition, which means a scene break or at the very least a new paragraph.

Replies:   REP
robberhands

@Switch Blayde

Head-hopping is not telling a story from multiple POVs. It's doing it incorrectly.

There is no such thing as 'incorrect story-telling'. However, there is the prevailing taste of time - presently shared preferences by a majority of readers.

Personly, I find head-hopping in first person stories atrocious to read, whereas I don't mind much if it's written in third person omniscient.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

I find head-hopping in first person stories atrocious to read, whereas I don't mind much if it's written in third person omniscient.

Thank you for that bit of common sense.

I think first-person POV is something of a trendy fad and overused by inexperienced authors. I can see the appeal, and new authors choosing it because they hear others say it results in readers "identifying more closely with the MC".

I don't think POV is something authors should choose?! I think POV should flow as a consequence from the needs of the story.

Head-hopping becomes almost inevitable once an author chooses 1POV when their story should be told in 3POV.

robberhands

@Ross at Play

I don't think POV is something authors should choose?! I think POV should flow as a consequence from the needs of the story.

Good point. I didn't think of it that way but have to agree.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

what exactly constitutes head-hopping


Best article I've seen on what head-hopping is, and what it's not.

https://thewritepractice.com/head-hopping-and-hemingway/

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I don't think POV is something authors should choose?!


I believe it's one of the first things the author needs to choose.

First, whose POV is the story told from? Critical decision. Imagine how different "To Kill a Mockingbird" would be if written from Scout's father's POV rather than hers. Instead of a coming of age story, it would be a legal story that John Grisham would write.

Second, do you want the story written as if a character is telling it? (e.g., Huck Finn.) Does the story need to be told from more than one character? If so, you have to decide between 3rd-limited and omniscient?

Most Romance novels are written in 3rd-limited multiple. The experienced authors do not head-hop. They don't jump back and forth between characters within a scene.

ETA: What Romance readers want is intimacy with the characters. They want to live the story through the characters. That's why they don't want to know what the other character is thinking at the time. If they're living the scene through the heroine, they don't want info she doesn't have. They want to know what she thinks the hero is thinking, but don't want to jump to the hero and learn what she doesn't know.

ETA 2: Btw, it was a Romance publisher's editor who told me not to head-hop in her rejection letter.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I believe it's one of the first things the author needs to choose. First, whose POV is the story told from? Critical decision.

I probably expressed my point heavy-handedly. I still say the needs of the story must drive the choice of POV.

I think that still is what has happened when author chooses to develop a story that is best told from 1POV. During their planning they then need the willingness and competence to restrict the details of the story to one that is suitable for 1POV ... if you want a 1POV-egg you must be careful to select the right breed of chicken.

What I see too often is inexperienced authors deciding to use 1POV first - because they think it is "better" - without the understanding or the willingness to accept the limitations that imposes on the story.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

What I see too often is inexperienced authors deciding to use 1POV first - because they think it is "better"


They do it because they are the character telling the story.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

What Romance readers want is intimacy with the characters. They want to live the story through the characters. That's why they don't want to know what the other character is thinking at the time. If they're living the scene through the heroine, they don't want info she doesn't have. They want to know what she thinks the hero is thinking, but don't want to jump to the hero and learn what she doesn't know.

You are saying, "Readers want A. That's why B and ..."
I agree readers do want 'A'. I don't think you can know competent author cannot achieve achieve 'A' while doing 'B and ...' It appears to me the point of the blogger was it is possible, but only with very specific types of stories ... and when done by authors who know what they are doing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

and when done by authors who know what they are doing.


That's the key. Know what you're doing and you can break any rule.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

They do it because they are the character telling the story.

The way I would state exactly the same idea is:

They are free to do that with a story that can be told by one character.

That would warn inexperienced writers as they build their "cart" they must keep in mind that the "horse" must eventually go at the front.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


They are free to do that with a story that can be told by one character.


That wouldn't even come to mind for a new author. He simply tells the story as the character: I did this and I did that. It also ends up to be mostly telling.

And since they're new to authoring, they would head-hop without thinking about it.

I think there's more head-hopping in 3rd-person than 1st, though.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

That's the key. Know what you're doing and you can break any rule.

And to get back on topic ... I would say that applies even more to the rule 'Thou shalt not write in 2POV' than to 'Thou shalt not head-hop'.

REP

@robberhands

The narrator or the characters themselves have to tell you what happens in their heads to make it head-hopping.


Granted in the story, the narrator is talking to the reader. However, it is the author writing the narrator's and character's words and it is the author who is directing the head-hopping; that is why I said author.

The reason for the term is the character, or non-Omni narrator, does not have mind-reading capability, but they tell us what the other character thinks as if they had 'hopped' into another characters head, looked around, and is telling what he found.

I don't dispute your definition for that is one form of head hopping. A more complete explanation might be:

"Head hopping" is a term that refers to a sudden and unexplained point-of-view shift. In other words, it's a situation where either the current POV character makes an observation they couldn't possibly know, or the reader suddenly finds themselves "hearing" the thoughts or emotions of a different character in the scene. It's a form of "authorial intrusion," or when an author lets their own knowledge show through in a situation where it doesn't work.

This is especially jarring in first-person POV, because first-person automatically indicates that we are inside one particular character's head. Therefore, that character can't make observations like, "Mrs. Anderson pursed her lips and wondered if I'd forgotten to do my homework again." There's absolutely no way for the narrator to know what Mrs. Anderson is thinking. Unless they're a mind-reader, but for the purposes of this post, we're assuming telepathy is a non-issue.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


I believe it's one of the first things the author needs to choose.


I agree. You, as the author, decide -

what you want to say in the story

who is carrying the story and the message,

the point of view to tell the story,

how you'll tell the story,

and then you write the story.

samuelmichaels

@awnlee jawking

There's no consensus about what exactly constitutes head-hopping

And I thought it was science fiction with aliens whose heads could detach and jump around...

helmut_meukel

@samuelmichaels

And I thought it was science fiction with aliens whose heads could detach and jump around...


No, head-hopping is done by demon-like aliens who occupy the head of the poor human, cause havoc in his life, feed of his life essence and after a few hours hop into the head of another human.

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP

@helmut_meukel

Sounds similar to CW's Demon series. :)

Switch Blayde

@samuelmichaels

And I thought it was science fiction with aliens whose heads could detach and jump around


I thought it was a girl giving multiple guys head, hopping from one dick to the next.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I thought it was a girl giving multiple guys head, hopping from one dick to the next.

I guess, thinking with the wrong head could be called head-hopping as well, if it happens frequently.

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