Writing in 2nd-Person POV: Q & A with Authors Anna-Maria Crum and Hilari Bell

This is a follow-up to two previous posts about stories written in second-person point of view (POV). If you want the basics on what second-person POV is or why you might want to try using this writing style, check these out:

Engage Readers: Make Them Part of Your Story
Connect With Readers–Without Breaking the Time Bank


Writing Second-Person POV–“In the Trenches” With Hilari and Anna-Maria!

Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper into how to make second-person POV work–by talking to a pair of authors who are in the midst of writing their own second-person POV project, Hilari Bell and Anna-Maria Crum.

CoGlogoHilari and Anna-Maria are currently going through the submission process with one of the foremost (in my opinion) publisher’s of choose-your-own-adventure stories/games, Choice of Games (COG). They’ve graciously agreed to talk about their experience with this company as well as what it’s been like to work on a project that’s so different in so many ways.

Since these two are so excited about their current project that they finish each others’ sentences, I don’t identify who’s speaking in their replies. They’re definitely well-practiced at working, brainstorming, and creating as a writing team!

How would you describe the writing process for a choose-your-own adventure tale, as compared to your experience writing more traditional first-person or third-person POV narratives?

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You Dedicate Yourself to the Dragon’s Cause

This is a continuation of one of the story lines in Kerri Cuevas’s Year of the Dragon Blog Hop. Click on the badge to start your adventure. You’re here because you chose to Dedicate Yourself to the Dragon’s Cause!

You dedicate yourself to the dragon’s cause.

“R-r-relic?” you stammer. “Okay. Could you, uh, put me down first?”

The chuckle grows deeper, but the beast lowers you back to the earth. “I was once like you,” he goes on. “So young and eager to please the Sensai. He woos young minds with tales of courage and honor and loyalty to the dojo above all.”

“You were like me?” you echo, disbelieving. “But you’re a DRAGON!”

“All is not as it seems.” The creature’s laughter has disappeared, replaced by a hard edge of anger. “I am not truly a dragon. And Sensai is not truly human.”

You blink up at the blinding sun again, wondering if the heat is making you see things. You’ve been practicing so hard lately. Sensai warned of a mysterious test approaching. This test, he said, would be like none other, and you wanted to be prepared.

Maybe you’ve been overdoing it.

The dragon roars. The sulfur stink of rotten eggs billows around you. “Listen to me! We haven’t much time. He keeps this relic hidden, and it will only be within your grasp for the next twelve hours. He’ll have it somewhere in the dojo, but not on his person. You must find it–and destroy it.”

You shake your head, liking this less and less by the minute. He’s asking you to betray your Sensai. “Why should I help you? Sensai must have imprisoned you for a reason.”

“He did,” the dragon answers. “He imprisoned me in this body–in his body–to take over mine. And you should help me because I believe he plans to do the same to you.”


Do you: believe the dragon and run to the dojo to search for the relic?

Or do you: run to tell Sensai about the dragon instead?

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