Writing an immersive third person limited point of view.
What is third person? In third person pov the narrator refers to all character by third-person pronouns, such as he, she, or they. In contrast, first person pov uses the first person pronouns, I and me, for the narrator.
What is third person limited? Third person limited is the alternate to third person omniscient. In third person limited, you have one single pov character narrating the story at any given moment (though you can have as many of these limited pov characters as you want throughout the course of the story), whereas in third person omniscient, there is an omniscient (all knowing) narrator.
Why choose a limited third person pov?
- The reader forms a stronger, more personal connection to your pov character(s).
- You can easily build suspense because the reader never knows for certain what the non-pov characters are thinking, feeling, or planning.
- You can more easily write an unreliable narrator because your narrator tells things only as they see them, and not as they truly are.
At the end of the day, there is nothing you can’t do with limited if you’re creative and willing to think outside the box.
So you want to write a good limited third person pov then?
Keep in mind that most of these tips also translate to first person pov. In many ways, third person limited is very similar to first person, because you have a single narrator at any given time, and the reader is confined to that narrator’s interpretation of the world.
Here are some key things you need to remember while writing limited third person: