Perspective Series: #7 Third-person omniscient narration

Perspective Series: #7 Third-person omniscient narration

Among the various Perspectives Series, we have written about First-person narration, Second-person, and Third-person.
If you missed the article on Third-person limited narration, you could read the article on this type of Narration Perspective.
However, there is another type of Perspective: Third-person omniscient narration.

What is the Third-person omniscient narration?

In general, in third-person narration, the story is narrated by a person other than the story’s protagonists.
However, the third-person omniscient narration is the author’s point of view, who knows everything about the narrative. They know the characters and their thoughts. They know what will happen and how the story will end.

This type of narration allows the reader to follow the story from different points of view, depending on the characters. They can see the story through the eyes of an adult or a child, a man or a woman, the main protagonist, or a secondary character.

Why to use the Third-person omniscient narration?

Like all narrative and perspective techniques, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage is that it allows the reader a deep immersion into the narrative. The reader gets to know all the characters well, in their depths. They also learn to distinguish them by their way of thinking and acting.

In third-person omniscient narration, the narrative passes from one character to another.
However, this technique must be used carefully. And this is the main disadvantage. If used superficially, it risks confusing the reader. There is a risk of losing the narrative thread and pushing the reader not to continue reading.

Another disadvantage of this perspective is that the reader is not surprised by the events. If the narrator anticipates that something will happen soon, the reader already knows something unexpected will happen.
Therefore, the narrator has to play on the unknown of what will happen.

Example of Third-person omniscient narration

We can find one of the most famous examples of third-person omniscient narration in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Tolkien narrates the story of the ring company from different points of view. The reader thus gets to know each character in depth.
Frodo was the only one present who had said nothing. For a while he had remained silent beside Bilbo’s empty chair, ignoring all remarks and questions. He had appreciated the joke, of course, even though he had been aware of it.

Lord Of Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.
And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it. The tale started, as many tales have started, in Wall.

Stardust- Neil Gaiman

What kind of narration for your story?

If you want to write a story, you will have to choose which perspective to use in your narrative. How to do this? Which narration suits your story best?
bibisco, with its innovative novel writing software, guides you in this choice. You can use bibisco’s software tools to figure out which narrative to use and create a genuinely engaging story.

Perspective Series: #7 Third-person omniscient narration- bibisco's Timeline - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software


In third-person omniscient narration, the narrator is completely free from the constraint of characters. They can provide information about the context, inform the reader about future events, comment on the story.

Leave a Reply

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