Amelia, that's not a black-and-white question, and I can think of several different circumstances.amilli wrote:Here's a question: In writing an article or a story etc, it is wrong to talk to your readers? Using word's such as: "what do you think?" or "you be the judge of that" or "take a walk with me down memory lane" etc.
If you're writing a certain types of nonfiction pieces, you may address your readers often. Devotionals and Bible studies, for example, frequently suggest actions directly to their readers.
Other types of nonfiction--research papers, journalistic articles and the like--have strict admonitions against using personal pronouns or addressing the reader.
In fiction, it really depends on the voice of that particular piece. If it fits with the mood and the tone of that particular piece, there's no reason no to. I wouldn't encourage you to do it if it "breaks the wall," bringing the reader out of the world of your story.
I found an example of one story in in the Writing Challenge in which I addressed the reader; you can find it here.
However, I'd be very careful about slipping into 2nd person in the middle of an otherwise 1st or 3rd person narrative. For example, I've read things like:
Jan's cabin had that smell that reminds you of your grandmother's house.
Since the writer has no idea what my grandmother's house smelled like, she shouldn't have phrased it that way. Maybe my grandmother was a heavy smoker, while the writer was going for baking bread. It should have been written more like:
Jan's cabin had that smell of baking bread and liniment--like the home of a kindly grandmother.
Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!