1. PrincessBatman
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    PrincessBatman New Member

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    Third Person Omniscient

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by PrincessBatman, Mar 10, 2013.

    Okay, not much into writing novels. I've tried it and I seem to have more fun writing short stories. I've worked with writing in the first person, and the third person limited, but I'm confused about the third person omniscient.
    I am currently plotting out a western/love/adventure story and I've tried starting it with first person and also third person limited. I want to showcase two characters and their thoughts and feelings though. I don't want to do "head hopping" and be confusing to any readers. . .but I want more than one point of view. Would writing in third person omniscient be the way to go? I suppose I can use one single character for each scene but that seems more like something that would be done for writing a novel. So I've been hesitant to do that. And I would prefer to have both their feelings shown in the same scene. So any help is appreciated! Thank you. :)
     
  2. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Third person omniscient would be easiest in my opinion and could give a more balanced view of the situation (though many stories have a biased narrator for whatever reason).
    I personally dislike novels written in the first person, but that's just me. Experiment, and go with whatever works. Plus, it isn't hard to switch person if you change your mind partway through.
     
  3. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    We dont get to see much omniscient view point anymore like before my guess is cause it can go wrong easily, but if your going to cover just two people than think its better to avoid head hoping.

    Third person omniscient is basically a narrator that knows everything and everyone's thoughts so i guess its the way to go, would advice just to not info dump too much thats were most people go wrong since the narrator knows everything.
     
  4. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Third person omniscient is hard because you have to get into all your characters' heads and write from their different point of views. But with only two characters on the focus, it should be easy. Remember to keep it simple so the readers will know who point of view they are reading.
     
  5. PrincessBatman
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    PrincessBatman New Member

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    Thank you for the answers. Alright, I see. . . kinda. Still trying just to grasp onto the writing style. I don't recall ever trying to use it before. Seems more like a movie. You record what is said and done, but no inner thoughts connected to any one character. So. . .even with being able to use everyone's point of view it is still rather limiting. Meh.
    Is switching between two character's points of view in a short story done often? I've not really seen it in the stories I have been reading.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see anything inherently wrong with using third person limited and changing your point of view from one character to another, whether in a novel or a short story. It would take some care to do it well, but so would third person omniscient.
     
  7. PrincessBatman
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    PrincessBatman New Member

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    I think I shall try that. As soon as I plot the rest of the story. Thank you for all your help, Everyone. :)
     
  8. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Before third person kicked in and became the most often used tool, omniscient was always used some good examples you can see in Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and most books that were published before.

    The Hobbit is a good example of a nonactive narrator.
     
  9. PrincessBatman
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    PrincessBatman New Member

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    I took a look at one of my older books and it's also omniscient. Maybe the writing style has been hard for me to grasp onto because I don't really care to read books that are written in that way.
     
  10. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Most of us when we start to write we use omniscient without knowing it, but probably hard to get right as we not used to seeing it much, most books we read now are in third person.
    Dont remember if i ever saw one in second person :D
     
  11. PrincessBatman
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    PrincessBatman New Member

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    I found a book in second person. Couldn't stand reading that way though. xD
     
  12. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    There should be no need for Third-person-limited to include confusing head-hopping; just make sure that you have a section or chapter break whenever you change POV, and that your first couple of lines make it clear who you're talking about. (I have read a few books where I went a good couple of pages before knowing which character I was with ... hated it ... but IIRC they were first person head-hoppers).
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Third person omniscient is hard to do well - I've seen 2 books who've tried, one a trad-pub and the other a self-pub and both were disastrous. It was basically third person limited with irregular head-hopping because the tone of the writing wasn't right for omniscient, so the entire thing read like 3rd person limited and I was thrown off every single damn time when the POV switched.

    If you wanna know how to do omniscient POV well, read Neil Gaiman - his was perfect. I didn't enjoy the book but you can tell the writing was flawless.
     

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