Writing Short Stories/1st vs 2nd person


I generally understand what writing in the first person is.  (I talk from my perspective, etc.)  I'm trying to figure out if the following is in the 2nd person.

"Have a seat," my grandmother said as she wrapped her wrinkly arms around me.

Most of my story is in the first person, but when I shift to dialogues like above is that now 2nd person?  

Hi there Patty,

Second person is when the writer uses the word "you" or variations of that.   
eg. "You take your time trying to figure out where she's going and then realize she's not going anywhere but towards you."

Your question is one of point of view and as long as you are staying within your own vision, from your view, there is no problem using "Have a seat," my grandmother said as she wrapped her wrinkly arms around me.   This perspective is still from the narrator's perspective.

Let's say, you, Patty are the narrator.  You are sharing a story from your own view and can report to us that your grandmother said "Have a seat," etc.    

In another example: "Have a seat," my grandmother said as she tried to hide her wrinkly arms from me.'   This is an example of jumping out of the narrator's first person view and switching into the grandmother's head.  Only granny would know what she was trying to hide her arms and therefore we are now in the grandmother's view which might make it a third person perspective.

As long as you are reporting to the reader and quoting the dialogue that took place at Granny's, without changing into her head, then the narrative remains in first person point of view.

First person writing example:

I knocked on the door of my grandmother's house and waited till she opened the door.  While I waited, I peered through one of the windows to see if she was at home but the curtains appeared drawn.  The door opened and there stood the short little lady I had known as a child.  
"It's been a long time," my grandmother said.  "Take a seat." She wrapped her wrinkly arms around me.   etc etc.  

best from Kaye Linden   www.kayelinden.com  

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Kaye Linden


I am an expert on flash fiction and flash non-fiction writing and critiquing. I can answer any questions on the craft and evaluation of short story writing and short and long story structure. I can also answer questions about the craft of fiction writing in general.


Teacher of short fiction at Santa Fe College, Gainesville References available. Past Editor-in-Chief (2010-11) of the Bacopa Literary Review Responsibility for the publication of the 2011 edition of the Bacopa Literary Review 2012-13 Short Fiction editor of the Bacopa Literary Review (decision-maker for all short fiction for general submissions and contest) Fiction critique group that meets monthly Active leader in short fiction workshops for the Writers Alliance of Gainesville MFA in writing (national accreditation) from Whidbey Writers’ Workshop (NILA) In addition, multiple classes online with Gotham Writers Workshops and Writers Digest in both poetry and short fiction Currently enrolled in online advanced writing classes. (past classes with poets Michael Dylan Welch and Carolyne Wright)

Florida Writers Association, Writers Alliance of Gainesville, The Bacopa Literary Review, Toastmasters International (certification in Competent Communication) The American Medical Editors Association. Whidbey Island Writers MFA Alumni Association

Kaye’s 2014 publications of short stories, flash fictions and haiku include but are not limited to: "Tales from Ma's Watering Hole" forty tale collection Copper Review “The Scribe” February 2014 Folio Oak Literary Magazine “Just in Time for the Old Man’s Passing” Jan. 2014 “Ghazal for My Lover” Soundings Literary Review print journal Spring 2014 Lists of past short story publications available upon request

Master of Fine Arts in fiction with a specialty in short story writing. (MFA) MFA acquired from Whidbey Island Writers Workshop in 20011 (national accreditation) (Also known as NILA) Bachelors degree in science/Nursing Please refer to: http://www.singingformyfriends.com http://www.kayelinden.com

Awards and Honors
http://shortfictionwritersguild.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/sfwg-2013-flash-fiction-contest-results/ third place for “My Soul is Driving” a reprint October 2013 Contest Honorable Mention for the short story collection ”Tales from Ma’s Watering Hole” June 2013 Leapfrog Press http://www.leapfrogpress.com/ Contest: Honorable Mention for "Tales from Ma's Watering Hole" for the best ebook in the 2013 Writers Digest competition

Past/Present Clients
Students from the Santa Fe classes, critique group members, Writers Alliance of Gainesville members. References available upon request

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