Thoughts in the Third Revisited

Third-person breaks down into two main categories: limited omniscient, where the writer focuses on one character but tells the story from outside their head, and omniscient, where the writer can flit between characters while telling the story from a supposedly detached perspective. So, when you’re writing limited omniscient it’s he/she/they but you’re confined to that […]

Voicing a Character

One of the things we have to decide when our omniscient narrator is describing a character’s thoughts to us is whether or not they’re going to be in the character’s voice or the narrator’s. Both techniques are valid and we can even use both, but when we use both we often need to establish why […]

Intruding Author?

Theoretically, our omniscient narrator has no investment in the story, they’re separate and unbiased relating the facts as they are, but this is rarely true. Charles Dickens is well known for showing the plight of the poor in Victorian Britain, he relates the facts but he is not unbiased. However, when he digresses from a […]

The Many Perspectives

One of the most important things to remember about omniscient narration is that although we can show the perspective of many characters we’re not actually in their perspective. As we’ve discussed before there are two main types of omniscient narration: Limited omniscient – We use third-person but we’re limited to the perspective of one character […]

The Narrator’s Voice

There’s a common misconception when people begin writing that there is a right way and a wrong way to write an omniscient narrator. From concerns I’ve heard I suspect this comes from the idea that at omniscient narrator is an entity detached from the story, although they’re telling it they have no stake in it, […]

The Balancing Act

As with the ability to move our narrative focus anywhere there are benefits and risks to omniscient narration when it comes to explanation. The narrator knows and sees all so it can be tempting to thoroughly explain everything, even when we don’t need to. This can be useful in a first draft when we’re figuring […]

How Much is Too Much?

One of the best things about omniscient narration is that we can show anything thing we want, but this can be the worst thing too. The problem is that the ability to jump between time, space and characters means it can be tempting to show everything which can be far too much. Some things need […]

The Reliable Narrator?

An omniscient narrator is an authorial voice outside the characters and the story that can move between the characters and places at will. This is slightly different from limited omniscient narrator which is outside the characters but we’re also limited to the perspective of one character at a time with a distinct break between each […]

The Detached Narrator

The omniscient narrator gets its name because The Narrator knows and sees everything. (Other writing advice folk might disagree with saying The Narrator but let’s keep it simple.) The narrator in an omniscient narration is different from a limited omniscient narration. In the limited version the narrator can only see what is happening from the […]

The All Seeing Narrator

This week we’re looking at the omniscient narrator; the narrator who can go anywhere and everywhere at will. We’ll be looking at the difference between omniscient and limited omniscient, narrative voice, and considering how much is too much. Monday – The Detached Narrator, What is omniscient narration? Tuesday – The Reliable Narrator, Is an omniscient narrator really reliable? Wednesday […]