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Using "You" In Stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I'm not fan of writing directly to the reader and I wonder what other people think of it.

    What I mean is writing a sentence like:

    If you ever had something or other than you know . . .


    If you could only see into something . . .


    Whatever else.

    All bad examples, I know.

    My question is, does "you" work in a lede or story?
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Sometimes you can make it work. Sometimes you can't.
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    you hit the nail on the head.
  4. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I was thinking the same thing. I used a "you" lede tonight and I was like, "huh. That works." And I'm usually dead set against it. I can't remember the last time I used it.
  5. funky_mountain

    funky_mountain Active Member

    what you're also going to find is some people can't stand the use of it and some people who don't mind it. the writer needs to know his/her limitations. when s.l. prices uses you, he has the grace to make it work. when i find myself going the 'you' direction, i spot it and go another way.

    sometimes, using 'you' is an easy way out. it's a universal way of trying to put the reader in the subject's shoes, and it can be a cliche when a skilled writer isn't doing it. heck, it can be a cliche when a skilled writer is doing it.

    at the end of the day, i'm with buckweaver. the writer and desk need to know when it works.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I dislike the phrase "you see."
  7. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i c.
  8. pallister

    pallister Guest

    This could be applied to every aspect of life.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    much like the eugene thread.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Like buckweaver said, it depends on the story. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
  11. satchmo

    satchmo Member

    You may be wrong, but you may be right.
  12. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    Hate it, hate it, hate it.

    It can work, but 99 percent of the writers out there who think they can make it work, can't. Then they get pissed when they're told that.
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