Third Person Point of View

In storytelling, the perspective from which a story is told can significantly impact the reader’s experience. Point of View (POV) is a crucial element in narrative writing that defines the angle from which the story unfolds. One of the most versatile and widely used perspectives is the third-person point of View. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what third-person POV is, explore examples in literature, provide tips on how to write from this perspective, discuss its pros and cons, and answer some frequently asked questions.

What is Third-Person Point of View?

The third-person point of view is a narrative perspective where the narrator is not a character within the story but an outside observer. This perspective uses pronouns such as “he,” “she,” “it,” and “they” to tell the story. There are three main types of third-person POV:

  1. Third-Person Limited: The narrator closely follows one character’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, providing a limited but intimate view.
  2. Third-Person Omniscient: The narrator knows all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of all characters in the story, offering a god-like perspective.
  3. Third-Person Objective: The narrator reports events without delving into the internal thoughts or feelings of the characters, presenting an unbiased and neutral view.

Understanding these types of third-person POV can help writers choose the most suitable perspective for their story, enhancing narrative depth and reader engagement.

Examples of Third-Person Point of View in Literature

In Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the story is told from a third-person omniscient perspective. This allows Austen to explore the inner workings of multiple characters, providing a rich, multifaceted narrative. Readers gain insights into Elizabeth Bennet’s thoughts and feelings, as well as those of Mr. Darcy and other characters, creating a well-rounded understanding of the social dynamics at play.

In George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones,” part of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, the narrative is primarily told from a limited third-person perspective, with each chapter focusing on a different character’s point of View. This approach allows readers to gain deep insights into individual characters while also experiencing the vast and intricate world that Martin has created. The shifting perspectives enrich the narrative, providing a complex and multi-layered story.

How to Write in Third Person Point of View

Writing in third person POV can be both rewarding and challenging. Here are some steps and tips to help you master this perspective:

  1. Choose the Right Type of Third Person POV: Decide whether your story benefits from a limited, omniscient, or objective perspective. Consider your narrative goals and the depth of character exploration you want to achieve.
  2. Maintain Consistent Perspective: Avoid switching between different types of third-person POV within the same story, as this can confuse readers. Stick to your chosen perspective to ensure clarity and coherence.
  3. Show Character Thoughts and Feelings: Use internal dialogue and descriptive passages to reveal your characters’ inner worlds. This is particularly important in third-person limited POV, which focuses on a single character.
  4. Use Descriptive Language: Enhance your narrative using vivid descriptions and sensory details. This helps create a more immersive experience for readers.

Tips and Best Practices

Stay Consistent: Keep your narrative voice consistent throughout the story to avoid confusing readers.

Avoid Head-Hopping: Sudden shifts between different characters’ thoughts can disorient readers. If you need to switch perspectives, do so at chapter breaks or with clear transitions.

Balance Internal and External Details: While it’s important to delve into characters’ thoughts and feelings, don’t neglect the external world. Balance internal monologues with action and dialogue.

Third-Person POV Mistakes to Avoid

Inconsistent Perspective: Switching between limited and omniscient POVs without clear transitions can disrupt the narrative flow.

Overloading with Internal Thoughts: Too much focus on characters’ internal worlds can slow down the pacing. Strike a balance between internal and external elements.

Neglecting the Objective View: Even in the third person, limited or omniscient, occasionally stepping back to provide an objective view can enhance the narrative.

Pros and Cons of Writing in The Third-Person


  • Broader Perspective: Third person POV allows for a more comprehensive view of the story world and multiple characters’ experiences.
  • Greater Flexibility: This perspective offers the flexibility to explore different characters and settings.
  • Enhanced World-Building: Writers can create a richer, more detailed world by describing various aspects of the setting and multiple viewpoints.


  • Consistency Challenges: Maintaining a consistent voice and perspective can be challenging, especially in the third person omniscient.
  • Risk of Head-Hopping: Shifting between characters’ thoughts without clear transitions can confuse readers.
  • Less Intimacy: Compared to first person POV, third person may create a slightly more distant connection with characters.

Third Person POV FAQs

Can you switch between different types of third-person POV within a story?

It’s generally advisable to use one type of third-person POV to maintain consistency. If you need to switch, do so at clear, logical breaks, such as chapter divisions.

Is third-person POV suitable for all genres?

Yes, third-person POV is versatile and can be used effectively in various genres, from fantasy and science fiction to romance and mystery.

What is the difference between third and first-person point of view?

The difference between third and first-person POV is that first person POV uses pronouns like “I” and “me,” making the narrator a character within the story, whereas third person POV uses “he,” “she,” or “they,” with the narrator being an outside observer. First person POV offers an intimate and subjective perspective, while third person POV provides a broader and more versatile view of the story.

What is the difference between third and second-person point of view?

The difference between third and second-person POV is that third person POV uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they,” with the narrator as an outside observer of the story, whereas second person POV uses “you,” making the reader or a character within the story the focal point. Third person POV provides a detached and versatile perspective, while second person POV creates a direct, immersive experience by addressing the reader directly.


Understanding and mastering the third-person point of View can greatly enhance your storytelling skills. Whether you choose limited, omniscient, or objective third-person POV, this perspective offers a wealth of opportunities for creating rich, immersive narratives. Experiment with different types of third-person POV to find the best fit for your story, and remember to maintain consistency and clarity throughout your writing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *