Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited

By Nathan Bransford

So you’ve already decided that you want to write in third person instead of first person. Good work! That’s half the battle.

Did you know there’s another battle ahead? That is when you decide whether you’re going to write in third person omniscient or third person limited.

This decision comes down to whether you want to head-jump.

Third person limited

Third person limited is, well, limited. The perspective is exclusively grounded to one character, unless you cheat a little. This means that you have all of the constraints of first person (all the reader sees is what the protagonist sees), but with just a tad more freedom. The reader will wonder a bit more precisely what that character is thinking and there’s a bit more of an objective sensibility.

One of the classic third person limited narratives is the Harry Potter series, and Rowling strays from Harry’s perspective in only a tiny few rare instances.  See More . . . 

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