In literature, there are different ways to narrate a story. You can have a first person, second person, or third person point of view. Each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we’re going to focus on the third person’s omniscient point of view. So, what is a third person omniscient point of view? A third person point of view is where the narrator knows everything about all the characters in the story. This includes their thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Third person omniscient can be tricky to get right, but when done well, it can effectively tell a story. This post will cover what you need to know about the third person omniscient point of view, including some tips and examples.
What is third person omniscient?
Third person omniscient is a point of view in which the narrator knows all the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story. This type of narrator is often found in classic literature, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Third person omniscient can be a tricky point of view to write in because the narrator knows everything about everyone, so it’s essential to make sure that the information you include is relevant to the story and helps move the plot along. It can be tempting to include every thought and feeling your characters have, but this will only confuse your readers and bog down the story.
When done well, third person omniscient can give your readers a rich and detailed experience, immersing them in your story and making them feel like they know your characters intimately. If you’re considering using this point of view for your next project, here are some things to keep in mind.
The different types of third person omniscient
In fiction, there are four types of third person omniscient points of view: limited, objective, reliable, and intrusive.
Limited third person omniscient: The narrator only knows what one character thinks and feels. This is sometimes also called a single viewpoint or objective third person.
Example: In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the narrator follows Holden Caulfield around and reports what he sees and hears without revealing Holden’s thoughts or feelings directly to the reader.
Objective third person: The narrator does not reveal any character’s thoughts or feelings. This type of POV is sometimes called detached third person or fly-on-the-wall POV.
Example: In Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, the narrator tells us what the characters do and say but never gives us access to their thoughts or feelings. We see everything that happens, but we don’t know anyone’s innermost thoughts or motivations.
Reliable third person omniscient: The narrator is reliable and trustworthy, and we believe what they tell us about the character’s thoughts and feelings.
Example: In Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, the narrator is all-knowing but also has a personality and voice that colours the story. We get a sense of the narrator as someone who loves and sympathises with the characters.
How to use third person omniscient in your writing?
When using the third person omniscient in your writing, you need to be aware of all the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story. This can be done by taking on the role of an all-knowing narrator. It can be tricky to maintain this perspective throughout the story, but it is important to remember that as the narrator, you know everything about all the characters.
One way to ensure you stay in the third person omniscient is to use different pronouns for different characters. For example, if two characters are talking, you would use “he said” and “she said” rather than just “said.” This will help keep track of who is thinking or feeling what. Another way to stay in the third person omniscient is to avoid using contractions such as “can’t” or “don’t.” This will remind you that as the narrator, you are not a character in the story and should not be influenced by their thoughts or emotions.
Thinking of yourself as a fly on the wall can be helpful when writing in the third person omniscient. You are an impartial observer of everything happening and can report on it without bias. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that as the narrator, you are not a part of the story and should not let your own opinions influence how you tell it.
Examples of third person omniscient writing
In the third person omniscient point of view, the narrator knows everything about the story’s characters. This type of point of view is often used in classics, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
An example of a third person’s omniscient point of view would be if the narrator were to say:
Elizabeth Bennet was quite content with her life before she met Mr Darcy. She had never desired anything more than a comfortable home, a loving husband, and children. But after meeting Mr Darcy, she began to think that perhaps her life could be more than simply comfortable. She began to dream of love and passion and a life filled with excitement.
The third person omniscient point of view is an excellent tool for storytellers. It allows you to explore the inner thoughts and feelings of all your characters and gives you a god-like knowledge of everything that’s going on in the story. When used effectively, it can make your story more engaging and exciting for your readers. However, it’s important to remember that with great power comes great responsibility — if you abuse the third person omniscient point of view, it can quickly become confusing and overwhelming for your readers. Use it wisely, and your readers will thank you for it.