All About Writing in Third Person

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Third person (he, she, they) is one of the standard points of view for writing fiction. In this video, I’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of this perspective, along with some other concerns unique to this POV, including:

+ Limited vs. Omniscient
+ Narrative distance and tone
+ Multiple perspectives
+ Head-hopping
+ Third-person present tense

Chuck Wendig on Third-Person Present: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/08/12/third-person-present-tense-is-my-space-jam/comment-page-2/

My Professional Editing Services: https://www.quotidianwriter.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuotidianWriter

Title and End Music: “Clockwork” by Vindsvept – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zl4EGLoiI8

Background Music by Vindsvept:
+ “Leaving the Dream”
+ “Woodland Lullaby”
+ “Frozen in Time”
+ “The Fae”
+ “Deliverance”
+ “The Forgotten Forest”
+ “Illuminate”
+ “Nightfall”
+ “Skymning”

20 Comments

  1. Charles Smith says:

    I am working my way through Dune so that's probably my favorite 3rd person.

  2. C says:

    A new video!!! Yasssssssss!
    And on my favorite POV nonetheless. <3

  3. Justine Salter says:

    Amazing channel and amazing content. Please keep creating! I'd love to see a video on plot issues and how to fix them.

  4. R D JAZZBOY says:

    Well done… all across the board.You care. and so do I. Thanks.

  5. Haxy Quinn says:

    Great work, really great, and really helpful. If you ever do any podcast I'm in.

  6. Leah Baldock says:

    Gosh this video was good! Thank you, thank you, thank you

  7. Robert Bruce says:

    This is some good content

  8. yvonneb2 says:

    Loved this. So well done. Great content!👍🏻😀💗

  9. The Closer Look says:

    Another great video. Keep up the good work 🙂

  10. Mark Okpoho-William says:

    I really really appreciate this video. All your vids are top notch!

  11. Becca maleficent says:

    how do you post exactly what I need at a time when I struggle to get it?! I love your videos and I enjoy every moment of it.

  12. Micah BlackLight says:

    First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH for these videos! I find your approach incredibly thorough, super accessible and easy to understand, and seriously educational AND thought-provoking. I LOVE that you provide so many examples of what you mean, they add so much.
    As for books, one of my favorite ever written in third person is a book by Guy Gavriel Kay entitled ‘Tigana’… ohhhhhh what a masterwork of fantasy that one is..

  13. Hawkins says:

    Thank you for this video.
    I was always confused why head hopping was bad, and I have now come to the realization that head hopping isn't bad. What is bad is confusing the reader. So if I can do head hopping without confusing the reader, then I see no good reason why it shouldn't be done. I think the aversion to head hopping is an exaggerated problem—writers have been so ingrained about avoiding head hoping, that they automatically have a negative reaction to it, even if the head hopping in question doesn't actually confuse the reader.

  14. Aphrodite Lee says:

    My novel is coming out in April is Third Person, Present Tense… looking forward to seeing how it is received!

  15. Gaming Postman says:

    This channel is very different from my own channel but it's nice.

  16. Kristoffer says:

    Do excuse my language, but YES FUCKKINNGGGG YESSSSS!!!

    Why are you so good at this kind of analysis. It's like you're born to do this or something. If that is the case then do continue what you're doing. We absolutely appreciate it!

  17. Leeber Snowy says:

    There is a “stark” difference….

  18. Tokyo Magma says:

    This video was so insightful and I loved all the examples and different page blurbs you used to explain the details of this POV.
    I've often found it frustrating when reading so many different opinions about the 3rd person narrative that I can never get a straight answer of it's facets, be they good or bad. This video shed some light on a couple things I will take into consideration for the novel idea I've had planned. I think I've always been drawn to the limited 3rd person, but the idea of panning the frame to another character's perspective is so intriguing. I like when authors shift to an important character and take us to a scene that is incredibly important but we would never have come across the interaction or event if the POV was in the 1st.
    Pertaining to your question of what my favorite 3rd person book is, I believe it would have to be "The Northern Lights" of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Being in 3rd person POV, the book has a lot of depth with this little girl character we love, Lyra, but when a scene is called for a more intense conversation between adults, the author shifts the POV ever so slightly to give us the heavy information we need to know, which would have been unlikely for a little girl to receive.

  19. DrANrules says:

    I personally prefer writing in 3rd person. And now that you have pointed out the difference between limited & omniscient, I can say my work qualifies as a mixture, though I lean more toward limited because it kinda feels like cheating, using the omniscient voice, like it detaches the narration from my characters, a contrivance to push the story forward after I wasn't clever enough to do it through limited!
    Anyhow, great video 🙂 Keep 'em coming.

  20. Boyan Botev says:

    Head-hopping is a literary device? Tolstoy uses it a fair bit?

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