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POV Part 2; third person

writing tips

By Amethyst ChampagnePublished 3 years ago Updated 7 months ago 3 min read
POV Part 2; third person
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Now that we've discussed first-person POV in writing, it's time to discuss third-person.

What is Third-Person Point of View?

Well, it is the he/she/they point of view, where the characters and the narrator are never the same person. It is the most used in fiction, also having several variations: limited, multiple, omniscient, and objective.

Third-Person Limited

Like with first-person limited, third-person limited can only access the mind of the MC, but it's filtered through the he/she lens instead of I.

One advantage to this POV is writing characters with limited intellectual ability and having them sound all right, like if a young child spoke.

But just like first-person, you can only write what that character experiences. I don't mind this one, but it's not one I read often.

Third-Person Multiple

Now, my personal favorite for both reading and writing is third-person multiple. With this one, you can tap into the minds of more than one character without having to read the word I all the time, which becomes tedious after a while.

This allows you to expand on your story, have subplots actively play out within the main plot, and possibly like one character more than another without feeling bad about it.

You can view other characters' opinions and goals that contradict or go hand in hand with the MC, making you wonder what will happen. You can also avoid unintentionally unanswered questions at the end of the story.

The main disadvantage to third-person multiple is that if you're not careful, you can lose the personal connections the readers develop with the characters by having too many POVs. It's easy to fall into the trap of adding every viewpoint possible.

What I have found helpful in avoiding this issue is choosing the most relevant characters and using their POVs to create obvious breaks when switching characters. I tend to stick with four, but you can have more or less as long as you can keep track.

Third-Person Omniscient

Another way around this problem is to write in third-person omniscient, the god view, and how the god view is typically written. You can jump into any character's mind without making it a big deal since you're not stuck to any character.

You also have the freedom to supply information to your readers that none of the characters know, driving the tension sky-high.

I wouldn't go on random tangents if they aren't relevant to the main story or any subplot, though. Like with multiple, non-important information often weighs down and takes away from your story. I've seen it happen in books with this POV type.

This is not a POV for the faint of heart; the presence of the writer is more evident to the readers, and the writer can't focus on only a few characters. I wouldn't want to write this way, so be careful if you choose this POV.

Third-Person Objective

The final one is third-person objective, which is being in nobody's head. You have to reveal everything happening in the story through dialogue and action. It's like reading a journal, where you only get the facts without being colored by the character's perspective.

The main advantage here is that it's easier for the readers to form their own opinions about the events, and neither you nor they have to worry about over-explaining simply because the writer can't explain it all.

On the other hand, most readers like to connect with the characters they read on a deeper level by seeing things through their eyes, feeling their emotions/sensations, and knowing what they are thinking, which objective takes away.

So, is Third-Person a Good Choice?

Yes, third-person has fewer options to choose from, but I don't consider that a bad thing. Sometimes, too many choices can be overwhelming. Plus, these are solid choices that you can't really go wrong with.


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About the Creator

Amethyst Champagne

I create fiction, short stories, poetry, and more!

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