Third Person Point of View

Dec 14, 2022Blog

What does the third person point of view ?


A third-person narrator separates themselves from the action and discusses the actions of the characters by using their names or the third-person pronouns he, she, or they. Hence, our Online book editor platform enfolds the entire concept of it.


What varieties of third person point of view are there?

Third-person limited, third-person omniscient, and third-person objective are the three different subtypes of third-person point of view.

A third-person limited point of view is one in which the narrator is only able to see from the viewpoint of one character. The narrator does this by immersing himself or herself in the feelings and inner thoughts of a single character while simultaneously viewing all other characters as observers.

Third-person omniscient refers to a point of view where the narrator is aware of every character’s thoughts, deeds, and emotions. To illustrate how each character affects the plot, the author could switch between them.

In third-person objective narration, the narrator describes the happenings without revealing the characters’ intentions or innermost feelings. Until we hear them talk or see what they do, we don’t understand what motivates them. Besides, you can dig into our Online book editor platform for the same.

What benefits and drawbacks come along with writing in the third person?

Third-person point-of-view gives you the freedom to choose between different characters at will, whether that means adhering to just one for the duration of a scenario, as in limited third-person. This offers a lot of depth and the potential for deep development.

Writing in the third person allows you to easily distinguish between opinion and truth and incorporates the larger picture into the story by allowing you to portray both the characters’ views and what is happening.

Although other characters can also think, feel, and experience through their senses, your main character can still do so. This can help you convey a scene more vividly as you flip between points of view.

Whereas, disadvantages of the same are:

By its very nature, the third-person narrative keeps the characters at a distance. This implies that your reader is even less emotionally invested in your characters than you are as the writer, which may hinder some readers from developing a connection to them.

The reader’s relationship with each character gets diminished as you focus on more characters. It is very challenging to make sure the reader will identify with every character, and the longer the time between chapters, the less invested the reader will be in them.

In addition to making it difficult to follow multiple characters, too many characters might start to sound the same without giving each one a distinct voice.

Therefore, this article covers the third-person point of view. When to use a third person viewpoint in your writing and the ideal third person point of view will be revealed to you.

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Let’s investigate the Narrative point of view, firstly.

To completely comprehend the third-person point of view, it is necessary to first examine the narrative viewpoint in general. Moreover, the Online book editor unfolds this concept well.

In reality, we must go back even deeper and take into account storytelling as a whole.

Three parts make up a narration:

Narrative point of view

The grammatical person that the narrator uses to refer to the character being described is known as the narrative point of view.

Narrative tense 

The continuous use of either the past tense or the present tense in writing is known as narrative tense.

Narrative techniques

The ways to tell the story.

We are most interested in the narrative point of view of these three components.

The narrator tells the reader’s story from a certain perspective known as the narrative point of view. The narrator’s voice can be made out. As the story is being told, that voice addresses the reader. The two narrative points of view that are most frequently employed are first person and third person. Although it is possible to write in the second person, fiction rarely does.

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The third person point of view-

Possibly, she, he, or they all are aware. To maintain a sense of separation between the author and the reader, a third-person point of view is employed. Characters operate as a barrier as a result, allowing the narrative to take center stage. The Lord of the Rings and Uncharted will serve as examples as we dissect the third-person point of view or third-person POV. But first, let’s go over some grammar points.

For the same, it’s crucial to adhere to specific grammar standards.

Here are some grammar manuals for writing in the third person

He, she, or they are used as pronouns, descriptors, or names to convey perspective in the third person.

Let’s examine a few instances:

  • He excelled in school.
  • Every aspect of her success was.
  • To complete the assignment on time, they put in a lot of effort.
  • The man wearing the amusing hat scoffed at onlookers.
  • Stella displayed maestro-like talent as she played the violin.

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A number of the most well-known stories in the English language have been told from the third-person point of view, which is by far the most popular technique for narrating stories. Here is the beginning of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, a novel renowned for being written in the third person.

It is a commonly known fact that a wealthy single man must need a wife.

Regardless of how little people may initially know about a man’s sentiments or opinions, this fact has become so ingrained in the minds of the nearby families that they perceive him as being legally the property of one of their daughters.

“My lovely Mr. Bennet, have you heard that Netherfield Park is at finally let,” his lady said one day.

In response, Mr. Bennet said he hadn’t.

She responded, “But it is, for Mrs. Long just came here and she told me all about it.

Mr. Bennett didn’t respond.

Do you really not care who took it? His irate wife inquired.

I’m open to hearing anything you have to say if you want to.

This was an open invitation.

The narrator’s separation from the novel’s characters is one distinguishing feature of the third-person point of view. In actuality, the narrator is rarely identified. This results in the third-person narrator being referred to as an “anonymous narrator” quite frequently.

Contrast this with a first-person narrator, when the narrator is both named and a character in the story.

There is various third person point of view, right?

The distinction between the various third-person viewpoint categories is part of learning about third-person points of view that novice authors find to be the most perplexing. Although a distant and anonymous narrator is used in every third-person point-of-view story, the knowledge the narrator has about the characters varies greatly depending on the viewpoint.

Every third-person point of view lies somewhere between subjective and objective, as well as omniscient and constrained.

All third-person perspectives will be something between subjective and objective, omniscient and constrained, as we will see in greater detail below. A viewpoint typically falls into one of two categories: omniscient OR limited, subjective OR objective. The opposite is not always true. As the story develops, some narrative attitudes may shift along these axes, but this is not frequent.

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Subjective and Objective Narrative Point of View

The third-person point of view involves A narrator who has access to the thoughts and feelings of one or more characters and is said to be using subjective narration. In other words, at least one character’s thoughts and feelings are known to the narrator.

This style of storytelling is typical. The primary character is often the one on whom the narrator focuses (but this isn’t always the case).

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a superb illustration of third-person subjective storytelling.

An old man who fished by himself in a skiff in the Gulf Stream had been without a catch for 84 days at this point. A boy had been with him for the first forty days.But, the child’s parents informed him that the old man was now undeniably and finally salao, which is the worst kind of bad luck, after forty days had passed without him catching any fish. The child followed their directions and climbed aboard another boat that, in the first week, caught three good fish. The small lad always went down to assist the older man in carrying the coiled lines, the gaff and harpoon, or the sail that was furled around the mast since it upset him to watch the older guy come at work every day in his empty skiff.The sail, which had been patched with flour sacks, looked like the unwavering defeat flag when it was furled.

Third-person point of view is When a tale is told objectively, the narrator focuses solely on the details of the action rather than any characters’ emotions or ideas.

The narrator frequently comes off as highly “dehumanized” and disengaged from the narrative. This method is frequently referred to as “fly-on-the-wall” or “camera lens” since the narrator will only narrate events and actions without offering any context or character reflections.

Large, overarching storylines were common in the 19th century when using this style of viewpoint. The term “over-the-shoulder” narrative is occasionally used to describe it. It places a single character in the center, and the narrator solely describes the events and knowledge this individual has.

Although quite similar to the first-person, this method creates a more condensed and claustrophobic third-person experience.

The novel Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway is arguably the most well-known example of this style of third-person viewpoint.

Long and white hills could be seen over the valley of the Ebro. This side of the station was in the sun between two rail lines with no trees or shade to be found. A curtain made of bamboo bead strings was draped over the open door to the bar to keep away flies and cast a cozy shadow against the side of the station. The Guy and the female he was sitting with were outside the building at a table in the shade. The express from Barcelona would arrive in forty minutes, and it was extremely hot. It made a two-minute stop at this intersection before continuing to Madrid.

What shall we drink? the young woman questioned. She had placed her hat on the table after removing it.

“It’s quite warm”, the man said.

Limited and Omniscient Narrative point of view

A technique known as the third-person omniscient point of view assumes that the narrator is aware of everything that is happening in the story’s setting, including what each character is thinking and feeling.

Several of the most well-known authors, including Charles Dickens, frequently adopt this point of view approach. When trying to create intricate stories with nuanced, multifaceted characters, this method is the most effective. As the reader has access to events, emotions, and feelings from all around the world, this has a significant drawback that it is impossible to establish an unreliable narrator.

This is an example of a third-person omniscient point of view from Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.

It was the greatest of times, the least of times, the age of wisdom, the age of folly, and the epoch of believing, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the era of shine, it was the period of gloom, it was the summer of hope, it was the winter of distress, we were all travelling directly to Heaven, nothing was around us, we had everything ahead of us, and we were all moving in the opposite direction, to put it briefly.

In the third person limited point of view, a single character’s knowledge and experiences are described by the narrator. In other words, the narrator is concentrated on and exclusively familiar with one character.

This is a highly typical narrative strategy and is possibly the most typical storytelling structure for well-known novels from the 20th century. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is one of the best examples of first-person restricted narration in use today.

The following illustration is from To Build a Fire by Jack London.

The man strayed off the main Yukon trail when the day had just begun, and it was bitterly cold and desolate. A sparsely used trail wound through the pine forest to the east, so he ascended the steep earth bank there. He stopped at the top of the high bluff to catch his breath. By checking his watch, he gave himself a pass for the behavior. The time was nine in the morning. Although there were no clouds in the sky, there was no sun or any indication of sun. A clear day prevailed. Yet, mysterious darkness seemed to cover everything’s surface. That was a result of the sun’s absence from the sky. The dude wasn’t worried about this fact. The absence of sunlight did not worry him. His last time seeing the sun was days prior”.

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The benefits and drawbacks of using a third personal point of view

While deciding on the narrative voice for their work, writers should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of using a third-person point of view. Making the right choice for their specific story can be aided by having a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of this point of view. The following are some of the main benefits and drawbacks of the third person’s point of view:


Several points of view: The third person point of view enables the narrative to transition between the perspectives of various characters, providing the reader with a more complete picture of the actions and feelings in the story. This can be especially helpful when investigating several perspectives on a problem or in complex storylines with multiple protagonists.


Objectivity: The third-person point of view gives the story a more neutral and objective tone while allowing the reader to generate ideas and assessments about the characters and events in the story. In writing on contentious or delicate themes, this might be extremely crucial.


Distance: Third person’s point of view can provide a feeling of distancing between the narrator and the story’s events, making it simpler for the reader to take a step back and assess what is happening without getting too emotionally involved. When expressing a more objective or analytical viewpoint, this can be helpful.




Reduced emotional connection: One of the biggest problems with the third-person point of view is that it can be harder for the reader to feel something about the people and events in the story. Because of this, reading may be less engaging and memorable.


Inner feelings and ideas: Another difficulty with the third-person point of view is expressing the characters’ inner feelings and thoughts. The author must convey to the reader what the characters are thinking and feeling indirectly, which can be less effective than doing so directly through the use of speech, actions, and descriptions.


Reduced intimacy: Third person point of view can also put the reader at a remove from the story, which makes it more difficult for the reader to fully immerse themselves in the setting. This may lessen the writing’s capacity for intimacy and emotional resonance.


In summary, the third-person point of view can be a potent tool for authors, but it’s crucial to thoroughly consider the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether to utilize it. Making the right decision for their story and developing the strongest narrative voice for their work can be aided by having a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of a third-person point of view.


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Most Commonly Asked Questions

You can find additional information by reading the commonly asked questions listed below.

What does a third person point of view look like?

The narrator addresses every character using third-person pronouns like “he,” “she,” or “them” when using a third-person point of view, which is the most popular choice among writers. To put it another way, the narrator stands alone and is not a character in the narrative. As in the case of “Jason buying himself comic comics with his pocket money.”

What do first, second, and third person examples mean?

The pronouns I, me, my, mine, myself, we, our, ours, and ourselves are used in the first person. Second-person pronouns include you, yours, and yourself. She, her, hers, herself; he, him, his, himself; they, them, themselves, their, and theirs are all third-person pronouns.

What three different third person points of view are there?

  • Omniscient point of view in the third person.
  • Restricted third-person omniscient.
  • Objective in the third person.

All of these are discussed in this article.

What does writing from the third person mean?

Writing from a third-person point of view involves employing pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “them” to describe the characters and events in the text.

What are the various third person point-of-view styles?

Third-person point of view comes in three varieties: third-person limited, third-person omniscient, and third-person objective.

What benefits and drawbacks come along with writing in the third person?

The capacity to quickly transition between the views of several characters and the development of a more neutral and objective tone are two benefits of writing in the third person. The reader’s ability to emotionally connect with the author is limited, and it might be challenging to understand the characters’ innermost thoughts and feelings.

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Concluding Remarks

The third person is used primarily in mainstream novels that are published. There’s a good likelihood that you’re writing in the third person if you never thought about your viewpoint when you were writing your work.


The decision of which third-person point of view to use will be the most difficult one for many writers. Third-person limited, with a singular emphasis, is the most popular choice in this situation.


The type of story you are trying to tell may be the most crucial consideration when determining which narrative viewpoint to use. The third-person omniscient point of view often works well for narratives with broad, grand, and epic tales. Third-person limited may, however, be more appropriate for closer, more intimate storytelling.


There are other viewpoint options besides the third person. Moreover, you can think about writing in the first person. When the protagonist and narrator are the same people, something occurs. The biggest benefit of the first-person point of view is that it enables you to write a story in a way that the reader can empathize fully with the main character. The biggest drawback of the first person point of view is that, in some cases, it might be challenging to convey information to the reader while the main character is ignorant of it.


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