Using the word "you" in fiction. Some people hate it. Others love it.
Me, I tend to lean towards the "love it" side of the fence.
I picked up AUDREY, WAIT! yesterday, and from the very first use of the word "you" I was hooked and brought immediately into the story.
"The day I broke up with my boyfriend Evan was the day he wrote the song. You know, the song."
For me, when I see the word "you" in first-person novels, it feels like I'm the one the reader is talking to. And I like feeling that close to the main character I'm going to be spending the rest of the novel getting to know. In the above example, it sets the stage for the novel and let's the reader immediately know that the fictional song is famous enough that anyone--including you--would have heard it. I love that! Plus, I love the continued use of talking to the reader as if they are a friend (or maybe a perceived enemy in this case).
For others, I've been told talking to the reader jars them from the text.
I'd imagine most of it involves execution. Because I have seen books that talk to the reader that I thought felt forced and as a result it jarred me out of the story. But I think generally most of it's a matter of opinion.
My very first novel that now sits in an unopened file on my computer (it doesn't even warrant a drawer...yet) used tons of "you's" and notes to the reader. In critiques I got mixed reviews on if people liked it or not. Most of the critiques from my former critique partners that are PB writers or write much more serious YA than I do hated it. Those from others that tend to read the type of YA I write, loved it. There was no middle ground. Either: "I hate this, remove this Emily or I will refuse to read another chapter" (improvising off memory of course) or "this section kicks butt" (okay, those might not have been the exact words either, but you get the point.)
What about you? Do you love being talked to as the reader? Do you hate it? Are you in the middle and don't care either way? Do you think it's risky to talk to the reader so much if so many readers do in fact hate it? Do you wish I'd just stop asking questions now?
Please share, I'd seriously love to know your opinion.
Thanks and have a wonderful week everyone!!!
--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent