Referring to the reader in a book?

I’m writing a story, and I was wondering if it’s bad to refer to the reader. I’m writing in first person past tense, and sometimes my character mentions ‘you.’ Like ‘I guess you don’t need to see the sky to know it’s there…’ blahblahblah that’s not the actual sentence, but that’s basically it. It’s not dialogue.


  1. Lauren says:

    No, it’s not bad to refer to the reader, but make sure it is consistently in first person. It’s a good writing style actually because it makes the reader feel as if they are there and interacting with the character. In short, it makes them feel special. Also, make sure the character who is referencing the reader as “you” is the protagonist throughout the book. Do not use this reference when you are writing from the antagonists point of view, if you use the antagonists point of view. Good luck! :)

  2. Dragomir says:

    Oh, that’s beautiful, really it is, i love those stories. I have a few for you to read, just if you want to see how some others did it.

    The first is tale of Desparaux, which is a childrens book. It is not engaging, but it really is beautiful. I know that doesn’t make sense, what i mean is while the story itself is nothing special, the way it is written is beautiful. It’s written almost like a fairy tale, but it has darker tones hidden in it, and you don’t really think about it, but when you do, it’s really deep. For example, a guard saves the main character (who is a mouse, btw). The mouse asks why he was saved when so many others were left to die, and the guard responds,

    “Because you, mouse, can tell Gregory a story. Stories are light, and light is precious, in a world so dark.”

    The most beautiful quote I’ve ever heard, this is another quote from her, here she is talking directly towards the reader.

    “There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman

    Onto the second book now, the series of unfortunate events. This one is not nearly as heartwarming as the previous novel, but neither is it as despicable as the writer makes it sound. He uses the device of talking directly to the reader in a sort of snarky, sarcastic mannar. He often tells people that it’s not too late to put the book down, and go read something else that will allow them to sleep better at night.

    It’s fairly funny sometimes, when someone is about to die, and the chapter ends abruptly. Then at the next chapter, he would apologize for leaving you hanging and say he left to eat some crumpets, and you learn that the suspenseful situation that you were left off with wasn’t really suspenseful at all to begin with.

    To conclude, it’s a beautiful, creative way to write. And i really would love to see more people do it, we need more books like this. I’ve never tried it myself, but it sounds like awful fun, and i’d very much like to one day. In fact, I might use this style in my second draft of my book,

Speak Your Mind