Writing Basics

Point of view basics: Third person and omniscient POV in fiction

the front cover of Valley of the Bees
My first novel, Valley of the Bees, is written in third person point of view. The entire story is filtered closely through the perspective of the protagonist, Valley Bickerstaff.

So, we’ve discussed first and second person points of view in this series. Today, let’s talk third person and omniscient. In third person POV, a narrator tells a story about characters who are outside himself. From a logistical perspective, both the third person narrator and the omniscient narrator tell the story using, “he,” “she,” and “they.” The difference between these two POVs lies fully in the amount of narrative distance created by the writer.

Third person point of view can be as intimate or distant as you like. You can make it intimate – like first person – by picking one main character and filtering the entire story through his or her POV, using language that character would use and only showing what that character knows. Continue reading “Point of view basics: Third person and omniscient POV in fiction”

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