Using Third Person Omniscient

By Brian Davis

Writing in Third Person Omniscient point of view lets you do many things with your story that you wouldn’t normally be able to do were you to use a Limited or even a Multiple point of view.

Third Person Omniscient lets you move freely through time and space, gives more information in a smaller amount of time, and yes, even shows what multiple people are thinking within a scene.

There are a lot of advantages to Third Person Omniscient, but if you look at fiction novels written in the 20th century, most are written in Third Person Limited. Why is that?

Part of the reason is that Third Person Omniscient is considered one of the hardest POVs to master because there are a lot of places where you can go wrong.

First, many new writers confuse Omniscient with “Head-Hopping”. This often happens because a writer wants to show what many or all of the characters within a scene are thinking, and then simply writes it down as if it were Third Person Multiple instead of Omniscient POV. This’ll come out as a jumbled and confusing pile of perspectives mixed together.

Second, many don’t quite grasp the differences between an Objective perspective and a Subjective perspective, and how to use them to their advantage.

Third, Third Person Limited (or Multiple) can be indistinguishable at times from Third Person Omniscient, which can make things very confusing. See More . . . 

 

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