Tag: novel writing

What are the 12 Jungian archetypes?

What are the 12 Jungian archetypes?

In one of our previous series, we dealt with Campbell’s archetypes. In this article on Narrative Theory, we discuss the 12 Jungian archetypes, facets of the personality that reside within each of us and that show up at different times in our lives.

What are the 12 Jungian archetypes?

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. While in his studies on personality and the individual, he defined several theories.
According to one of these, each of us is born with a primitive model linked to the unconscious. This model, which derives from thousands of years of experience with mankind, is only a starting point on which to build our personality and character.

What does it mean, ‘archetype‘? In Greek, the word ‘arché‘ means original, while ‘típos‘ means model.

In other words, the archetype is therefore the model on which we interpret the surrounding things, the events, and situations in our lives. It is, in simple terms, the basis of our behavior.

12 Jungian archetypes in narrative theory: why?

What do psychoanalysis and Jungian archetypes have to do with writing a story?
These archetypes can be the basis for defining the characters in a narrative.

Jung defined a total of twelve. Each archetype captures a facet of the personality and includes different strengths and weaknesses. These are equally important for emerging goals (more related to the merits) and fears (directly related to the flaws).

The 12 Jungian archetypes

The Innocent

This is our trusting part that comes from the sense of love that parents pass on to each other. It is characterized by happiness and light-heartedness. A character with this archetype often lives in their own world. Among their faults, however, is that of denying problems to avoid confrontation.

The Explorer

This archetype represents abandonment. The Explorer has developed a strong practical sense and is very independent. However, the Explorer is cynical and distrustful of those around them and fears betrayal.

The Hero

The hero is the archetype of the character who acts as a leader, leads the secondary characters, and often is the story’s protagonist. This part of the personality is strong and courageous. On the other hand, their defect is the desire to appear invincible. This archetype takes any situation as a challenge.

The Caregiver

This model contrasts with that of the Innocent. Its characteristic is generosity and compassion. It is represented by the character who acts as a sidekick to the protagonist. Therefore, without the Caregiver, the main character would not be able to complete their mission. Their defect? It is precisely this excessive altruism that also leads to exploiting others.

The Sage

According to Jung, this archetype has an ancestral value, linked to the time when in the tribes, the elders suggested to the young people to listen to the older ones.
The Sage is the character who helps the protagonist by making them aware of what awaits them in the near future. The Sage is a wise figure. Their characteristic is wisdom. Too much caution, however, risks creating immobility and preventing the character from acting. This is their defect.

The Jester

The Jester is a funny character who lightens the narrative and the events that the protagonist has to face. All stories have a character with this archetype. The Jester brings a smile to the reader’s face and is who people usually fall in love with because they are likable. Their strengths are sympathy and joy. Their defect, however, is their inability to take things seriously.

The Magician

This particular archetype is very similar to the Mentor in some ways. Thanks to their inquisitive nature, they know many things and can help the protagonist in the same way as the Mentor.
Unlike the Mentor, however, the Magician tries to convince everyone of their theories. Their defect is the tendency to manipulate people and their dishonesty.

The Ruler

This is the archetype of the leader. The Ruler is a character with charisma, a desire to excel over others, and loves maintaining order and precision. However, this archetype is also very suspicious and incapable of delegating precisely because they like to keep control directly.

The Outlaw

Often, the Outlaw is represented by the main character of the story. They are characterized by strong initiative, independence, and perseverance. This is the one who loves to fight to change things. Likewise, their will to change, if not restrained, can turn into an excessive force that leads to significant consequences for all characters.

The Lover

This is the character who believes in love and fights for love. Love is precisely the force that motivates them and drives them forward in the narrative. The strong point is Lover’s devotion toward the people they care about. However, the Lover loves so much and sometimes is melodramatic, even willing to sacrifice their own life or freedom.

The Creator

The archetype of the Creator is present in the one who creates, who sees a world different from what others see. The Creator is an inventor, someone who creates the narrative. The archetype of the Creator is a non-conformist, motivated by trying to express themself. Creativity is their strength but without great practical skills.

The Everyman

The Everyman is a good character who likes to relate and be in the company of others. Empathy, support, and realism are the characteristics. However, the Everyman doesn’t believe in themself and, in some extreme situations, prefers to isolate themself rather than feel like a burden.

“Archetypes are typical modes of apperception, and whenever we observe constant and regularly recurring modes of apperception, it means that we are dealing with an archetype, regardless of whether its mythological character is recognised or not.”

Carl Gustav Jung

bibisco can define your character’s archetypes

Defining the archetypes and thus the characters’ personalities in a narrative are far from a simple task. The writing software of bibisco helps you to define your characters and their archetype to create their character. To sum up, their actions will thus be linked to the archetype that is theirs.

bibisco's main character section - What are the 12 Jungian archetypes?
bibisco’s main character section


In conclusion, according to Jung, every personality is conditioned by a primordial pattern of behavior, the archetype. This pattern conditions the behavior of the characters in a narrative.
Each archetype has strengths and weaknesses that lead the character to act differently.

Why It’s So Important To Choose Your Characters’ Names Wisely

Why It’s So Important To Choose Your Characters’ Names Wisely

When you start writing a story, you think about the plot and the characters. One of the first things you write about is the character’s name.
What are the steps for choosing a character’s name? The name represents the character and should not be selected too hastily and superficially. It is as important as the behavior’s character itself. For this reason, we suggest you some important Narrative Tips for choosing wisely your character’s name.

Why choose wisely your characters’ names?

When you decide on a character’s name, you create their personal history, including their origins and geographical affiliation.

Sometimes, the writers choose a name that they initially decide to change because it no longer reflects the characters as they were originally born.

Therefore, it is good to think about the name of the character before starting to write the story.

How to choose a character name?

To choose the character name there are significant tips to follow.

First of all, we have to identify the setting of the story.
In which historical period does your narration take place? Do you want to set your story in the real or in the imaginary one?

You can think of a name based on the setting of your story. Therefore, the first step is to do thorough research according to the world you decide to describe.

Every era has its name. Likewise, in every world. If you choose to describe an imaginary world, you can use an invented name that suggests that the world does not really exist. The name of the character must therefore also be consistent with the setting described.

Characteristics of your character name

There are some characteristics of your character name you have to consider:

  • pronounceability
  • uniqueness
  • musicality
  • adaptability
  • brevity


A name must be easily remembered. Otherwise, the reader may have difficulty identifying the various characters during the reading. The name of your characters, especially that of the main character, must be easy to read and pronounce.


Each character must have a different name. Just imagine if you told about two different characters with the same name. You would have to introduce a descriptive element each time to distinguish them. In any case, it would create a lot of confusion for the reader.

Above all, the protagonists’ names must stand out above the others so that the reader remembers them even after they have finished reading your story.
For this, you can also associate a surname with the first name so that it retains the characteristic of uniqueness. For example, there is only one Harry Potter.


This feature is important because it makes the name catchy, and simple. It has to center on the context of the story and therefore, as anticipated, on the setting of the narrative.


The name must fit the character. It is a bit like a specially sewn dress. It should reflect the character’s character and temperament.


Names that are too long are difficult to remember and sometimes even to pronounce. Let us return to the characteristic of pronounceability. A name has to be short and catchy. Names that are too long are difficult to remember and sometimes even to pronounce.
If you are attracted by a long name and it reflects your character, consider thinking of a diminutive with which you can speak about your character.
For example, in the novel Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn was only called Huck during the story.

Some help to choose your characters’ name: bibisco

In addition to the tips we have described in this article, you can also use bibisco and its innovative novel writing software to choose your characters’ names.
With this cutting-edge tool, you can create your characters, determine their physical and psychological characteristics and create a name for them.

Why It's So Important To Choose Your Characters' Names Wisely: bibisco's Characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s character section


One might think that the choice of a name is among the easiest parts of writing a story, and among the first steps. The name of the characters is a very important element because it allows the reader to remember the protagonists. There are some essential tips to follow when choosing the perfect name for the main characters in your story.

4 Ways to Maintain Story Tension

4 Ways to Maintain Story Tension

When you write a story, the real difficulty is to capture the readers’ attention and keep going with it. In this article on the Narrative Theory, we explain how to maintain the story tension.

What is the story tension?

The story tension is helpful to keep the reader glued to the pages. It is that feeling of involvement that leads the reader to continue reading. When a narration is thrilling and captivating, the reader can’t wait to know how the story ends and is encouraged to go to the last pages. It also has to do with the climax, a tension that builds to a climax.

According to the American writer Jerry B.Jenkins, There are four main ways to maintain the story tension.

1) Create a conflict in which characters are involved

This is the first way to keep up the tension in a narration.

Before you start writing, you should already have an idea of the story, the characters, and what’s going to happen. Creating an event, a conflict, that your characters must overcome is a trick to capture the reader’s attention and keep them engaged.
Over the course of the story, the reader becomes attached to the characters and needs to know how they will overcome and deal with the conflict.
Therefore, the conflict can be an internal difficulty for the character, a breakup with another character in the story, or finally, an external situation. The key thing is that the conflict threatens the main purpose your protagonists are fighting for or someone they care about.

2) Create a various flows of tension

However, creating tension does not mean writing about an event that one after the other causes endless twists and turns. This would have a counterproductive effect on the reader’s attention. It would confuse them and risk boring them with exaggerated suspense.
Instead, the best way is to create a varied flow of tension, with quieter moments and moments of high tension. In this way, there will be moments in the narrative where the readers will hold their breath and others where they can relax.

3) Raise the expectations and the risk

If the character, or characters, managed to deal with all the difficulties right away, it would be hardly believable. Also, the tension would be gone in a very short time. Instead, what keeps it high is seeing the protagonist’s many attempts to get to their goal.
In the narrative, it is also nice that there is a moral: keep trying, even failing, until you reach your goal. So the third way to keep the tension going is to show the path that the characters follow, with victories and failures, until the story’s conclusion.

4) Create some curiosity

The fourth and final way, perhaps the most important way, is to maintain the reader’s curiosity. When you create an event that triggers the feeling of tension, you also need to talk about something that interests the reader and piques their curiosity.

Use bibisco to sort out your ideas

There are four effective ways to maintain tension in a narrative as we’ve listed. However, it is essential to have certain elements in mind, such as the characters, the relationships between them, and the story’s purpose.
bibisco and its innovative book writing software allow you to rearrange the ideas to start writing the story. You can then create the proper focus and maintain the necessary tension to glue your reader to the story.

4 Ways to Maintain Story Tension - bibisco's timeline- bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s timeline


Creating tension in a narrative can be simple once you’ve thought of a story. Maintaining that tension, however, is less straightforward. There are four ways you can use it to do just that and make your story a best seller!

Perspective Series: #11 Magical realism

Perspective Series: #11 Magical realism

Have you ever read a description of the real world embellished with magical, enchanted details? If the answer is yes, you’ve stumbled upon what writers call Magical realism. It is this Magical realism that we talk about in this article of the perspective series.

What is Magical realism?

This perspective narration was born first in figurative language than written language. It was a device used as early as the 1920s to make real-world photographs magical. Thus, urban backgrounds were depicted with a music box, a magic lamp, a magician’s wand, or any other detail that could distract the viewer’s gaze from everyday reality and make him focus on the magical element.

Some examples of Magical realism in narration

It seems that magical realism in literature began to spread later, particularly after the mid-1900s. One of the first to use it was Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His work, “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, described the vicissitudes of a well-to-do Colombian family by inserting magical elements such as local beliefs and tales of superstition.

Even in Italy, we had an author who extensively used this perspective technique, Dino Buzzati. In many of his stories appear magical and enchanted objects.
When reading “The bewitched jacket”, the reader does not ask himself why there is a magical jacket but accepts its presence in everyday reality as it could be his own and follows the story with attention. One forgets that the whole story revolves around elements that do not exist.

Magical realism: what is it all about?

Magical realism aims to bring the reader into a world other than the everyday. The magical elements, which are intertwined with the real world, are described so carefully and naturally that the reader accepts them without asking too many questions. The initial reaction is one of amazement and estrangement. What is a magic lamp doing in the desert? But as the story continues, these objects become a part of the narrative reality that they seem almost real and natural.

Characteristics of Magical realism

One of the first features of this perspective is that it distorts time.
The author manipulates it, reverses it, and no longer has a timeline. Similarly, the cause-and-effect binomial no longer exists. Some events can happen before their cause.
Then, of course, the presence of at least one magical element is crucial.
Legends, folk beliefs, spirits, and animate objects, become part of the narrative naturally.

I couldn’t tell if I was living in a dream, if I was happy or if I was suffocating under the weight of a fatality that was too great. On the street, through the raincoat, I was constantly groping at the magical pocket. Each time I breathed with relief. Under the fabric, the comforting crunch of paper money answered.

Dino Buzzati- The bewitched jacket

Magical realism: when to use it?

To decide what style to give your narrative and whether to use Magical realism, bibisco can help you.
Thanks to its innovative book writing software, you can easily figure out what story to write, how to describe your characters, what narrative technique to use, and even keep track of all the magical objects you decide to include in your story.

Perspective Series- Magical realism- bibisco's object section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s object section


Magical realism is a narrative perspective that the author can use to create a different narrative from the usual while keeping the real world as the setting.
It is the magical objects, the details, and the outline of the story that is enchanted. And it is these same details that draw the reader into the story, accepting the existence of magical objects in the real world.

Perspective Series: #10 Defamiliarization

Perspective Series: #10 Defamiliarization

In the Perspective Series, we saw different narrative techniques that show how a narrator can tell a story from several perspectives and different points of view. What we will discuss in this article is another Perspective that is the Defamiliarization, a concept that comes from Russian literature.

What is the Perspective of the Defamiliarization?

Defamiliarisation, or alienation, is a new perspective to view something in a different new way. In this way, this technique changes the everyday perception of that particular object.

By the early 20th-century, the Russian literary critic Viktor Shklovsky in his ‘Art as Technique’, coined this term.

To fully understand Defamiliarization, we have to understand that notion from a Russian point of view. For Russian formalists, literary language is essentially different from any other language because, unlike the latter, it has no practical function.

Literature is a language that simply serves to make us see things through different eyes. Moreover, it succeeds in doing so thanks to precise stylistic and structural techniques.

The Russian writer explains, in fact, how Defamiliarization uses language in such a way that ordinary and familiar objects appear different from what they actually are.
When using this perspective, Literary language is a distorted and alienated everyday language.

Why is the Defamiliarization important?

According to Shklovsky, using this perspective and a different language allows for a new and fresh description of the same object. It leads the reader to be surprised by something that he now considers to be habitual. Moreover, the reader can think about this new reality.

If a story simply talks about hills, this image will not materialize in the reader’s mind.
However, the hills acquire a new image by adding details and changing perspective.
They become green, sinuous hills, from which a farmhouse can be reached by a dirt road. Can you see them now in your mind?

Perspectives like Defamiliarization through bibisco

Bibisco aims to help you write a novel that represents you. It allows you to gain an appealing style without losing sight of your writing style.
bibisco is an innovative novel writing software that helps you set up your story, creating the characters, plot, and events. After that, you can focus on the narrative techniques and different perspectives you can use to make your story unique.

Perspective Series- Defamiliarization- bibisco's characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
Character’s events section


Defamiliarization is a concept that comes from Russian literature. In particular, according to Russian writers, people tend to become accustomed to images of everyday objects. Therefore, they store them as habitual. Defamiliarisation allows the reader to see the same objects from a new perspective and be amazed again.

Perspective Series: #9 Author surrogate

Perspective Series: #9 Author surrogate

Only the last perspective is missing to complete the author/narrator Perspectives Series overview: Author surrogate. The surrogate author is a substitute for the author within the narrative. Let’s take a look at its characteristics and how best to use this technique.

What is the Author surrogate?

As the term itself suggests, the surrogate author is a surrogate of the author. It is a character inserted within the narrative who takes on the author’s characteristics.
It is possible to create a character with a different name, physical characteristics, and personality but who in some way has a direct link with the author of the narrative.

The aim is to allow the author to write their own opinion or make this surrogate character react as they would if they were inside their own story. However, the reader can not understand that this is a character unless the author does not want to reveal it.

Some examples of Author surrogate

In fiction, there are many examples of this perspective. As already mentioned, the reader is often surprised when they learn of the link between one of the characters in the story and the author themself. This is because there is no explicit element linking one to the other.

For example, in Jurassic Park, author Michael Crichton thought of creating the eccentric character Ian Malcolm to express through him his ideas about cloning and the failure of the whole project.

Similarly, going further back in time, Plato, in his writings and in particular in his “Apology of Socrates“, uses the character of Socrates to express his thoughts and concepts.

Stephen King has also often used this technique. Think of the many characters in his novels, such as The Shining, Misery, or The Dark Half. The main characters are all writers, just like their author.

What is the aim of an Author surrogate?

An author may choose to use this Perspective for different reasons.
Firstly, to express ideas and opinions that they have never expressed before as an author. An author of novels cannot express their opinions in the same way as a columnist. One of the ways to do this is to create an Author surrogate.
Secondly, the link between author and character is something that can strike the reader and serve as a twist, especially when revealed at the end of the story. In this way, even after finishing the reading, the reader will be pleasantly impressed by what they have learned.

Use bibisco to choose the best Perspective

With this Perspective on the author’s figure, we have explained all the techniques related to the narrator. In this way, you can choose which method of writing best suits you and your narrative.
bibisco can help you with this choice. Thanks to its novel writing software, bibisco can help you decide whether to create an Author surrogate or rely on a Third-person narration, for example.

Perspective-Author surrogate- bibisco's Timeline - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s main character section


The Author surrogate technique can be very useful in several respects.
It allows the author to express something more of themself while disguising themself in the guise of a character. The technique also allows the author to leave the reader with a feeling of a twist if they detect that the author is hiding under the narrative’s main character.

Perspective Series: #8 Audience surrogate

Perspective Series: #8 Audience surrogate

The particular point of view we talk about in this new article of the Perspective Series is the Audience surrogate.

This perspective gets its name because a protagonist stands in for the audience reading the story. Let’s see its characteristics.

What is the Audience surrogate?

The Audience surrogate is a particular perspective that considers the reader’s point of view. This is a technique frequently used in detective fiction and fantasy, in which a character asks a central character how they performed specific actions. The purpose is to invite that character to explain why they did specific actions to the reader.

In Audience surrogate, one or more characters ask the same questions like the one that a reader would think. For this reason, the technical definition for the Audience surrogate is that this perspective is the proxy of the reader.

Narrative Perspective: the importance of the Audience surrogate

Thanks to the Audience surrogate perspective, the readers feels completely immersed within the narrative. Their questions and curiosities are anticipated and satisfied by the character in the story itself. Therefore, this character is on the same plane as the reader following the narrative.
It is a type of technique that allows the readers to be involved and to make them feel, in some way, an integral part of the story, so much so that they almost think that that particular character is real.

Audience surrogate: some examples

One of the most evident example of Audience surrogate is Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. In all the adventures of the world’s most famous detective, Watson, who always accompanies him, asks him questions to understand how Holmes arrived at a particular conclusion. Arthur Conan Doyle could have explained the solution of the case in another way, for example, by telling the facts as they happened. Instead, he chose to do so with the Audience surrogate, making Watson serve the reader.

In Harry Potter, Harry himself is a surrogate for the audience. Harry knows nothing, as the reader, about the magical world of Hogwarts. He learns its dynamics, its peculiarities, marveling and explaining them as if the reader himself were seeing them directly.

Your bird, there was nothing I could do. He just caught fire!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

How to use the Audience surrogate perspective

So many narrative techniques, so many perspectives…too many? Not sure where to start? It can happen to anyone. Even the most experienced writers. Every new story has its own history, dynamics, and characters. bibisco, with its innovative novel writing software, helps you understand where to start when writing your story. Above all, it allows you to put order among the many ideas, characters, and narrative techniques at your disposal to write an engaging and captivating story.

Perspective Series: #8 Audience surrogate- bibisco's Timeline - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s analysis section


Audience surrogate is a very useful perspective to use when it is necessary to make the reader completely enter into an imaginary and completely unknown world. It is also used when the story is so rich in information that it needs a character within the story to clarify the reader’s doubts even before they arise.

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.

Perspective Series: #6 Third-person limited narration

Perspective Series: #6 Third-person limited narration

In this series focusing on the figure of the author and the narrator, we have dealt with first-person and second-person narration.
Now we continue our Perspective Series by talking about third-person narration. There are two types, and here we start with the first: third-person limited narration.

What is the third-person limited narration?

Third-person limited narration occurs when the third-person narrator limits the actions and thoughts to that one character.

In this case, therefore, the protagonist can not tell the other characters’ points of view or thoughts because they only know their own.

One of the best examples of writing with third-person limited narration is the Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling. Rowling uses Harry Potter as a ‘limited‘ narrator character. Below is an example:

Fascinated, Harry leafed through the rest of the contents of the envelope. Why the hell did Filch want a Kwikspell course? Did that mean he wasn’t a real wizard?”
What do we learn from reading these lines?
We know the events Harry Potter is facing, what is happening. Nevertheless, we have no idea what the feelings of the other protagonists or, specifically, Filch are.

Third-person limited narration (subjective point of view)

This narrative structure is most similar to first-person narration. The protagonist tells the facts exclusively from his point of view. The difference with first-person narration is that the narrator tells the events in the third person.

Third-person limited narration (objective point of view)

The characteristic of this particular perspective is objectivity. The protagonist narrates the story’s events exactly as he perceives them through his senses. Therefore, the narrator leaves out the thoughts and feelings in the narration.

Third-person limited narration: characteristics and risks

What, then, are the characteristics of third-person limited narration?

  • It creates a strong intimacy between the narrating character and the reader. It excludes the intrusion of other characters.
  • The secondary characters are more mysterious. They therefore capture the reader’s attention more since they do not know much about them.

This technique is very effective, but you have to know how to use it correctly and avoid certain risks.

Firstly, avoid too many changes of perspective. Within the same chapter or scene, be careful not to tell events from the point of view of one protagonist and then switch to another without explaining anything. The reader would find himself disoriented.
To avoid this disorientation, you can adopt some formatting tricks. For example, separating the two narratives of the two different ‘limited’ characters with a line spacing.

The third-person limited narration is the one that most closely reflects reality. On the other hand, none of us can know what the other characters are thinking during events. Be careful, however, to use appropriate language respecting the era, the society, the age of the characters and their cultural level.

Finally, do not forget that the character is the narrator and not the author. In the description of places, limit yourself to what the character sees and smells without adding anything else that the narrator would not see or hear with their senses.

“Robert Jordan trusted the man, Anselm So far, in everything but judgement, he had not yet had the opportunity to test his judgement and, in any case, judgement was his responsibility. “

For whom the Bells Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

Learn how to write your story with bibisco

Do you like to write and have a story in mind? The main difficulty in writing a novel is to start in the right way.
Writing straight away without structure is not the right way because you risk creating a story with unrelated events and boring the reader.
Thanks to bibisco and its innovative writing software, you will be able to understand what order to give your story and what narrative techniques to use.

Perspective Series #6: Third-person limited narration- bibisco main characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco main characters’ section


Third-person narration is one of the most widely used and engaging narration techniques. It creates a strong bond between the character and the reader and keeps around the other characters, and the story in general, an aura of mystery that captures the reader’s attention.

Perspective Series: #5 Second-person narration

Perspective Series: #5 Second-person narration

Among the various perspective techniques we presented in our Perspective Series, there is one called Second-person narration. The Second-person narration is one of those perspective techniques that characterize the writing of a story.
It involves using the second person as the subject of the narrative.

What is the Second-person narration?

The Second-person narration is a narrative technique that concerns the narrator. As we have already seen in previous articles, the narrator can have different points of view. There is, in fact, first-person narration rather than second-person narration.
It is a little-used perspective technique, but it can create a strong involvement for the reader, who finds himself conditioning the plot of the narration with his own decisions.

Its characteristic is that it addresses the reader directly without presenting itself overtly as the ‘narrative self’.

The narrator can be a character, an external narrator, or even an object that witnesses the protagonist’s life.

The story is told using ‘you‘.

Simply put, the reader stays in the background and puts the reader in the foreground.

When Second-person narration is used?

Second-person narration is widely used in advertising and in those stories where the reader conditions the narrative’s ending.

An example you might not have thought of is role-playing or board games in general, where cards give the player directions on how to proceed in the game. An example: ‘Skip a turn!’ or ‘Back to the start’.

In the field of advertising, we think of Nike‘s slogan ‘Just do it’. This is also an example of second-person narration.

Why using the Second-person narration?

This technique allows the reader to identify with the story, experiencing the events more closely. Furthermore, using the second person explicitly (‘you’) increases the sense of urgency of the plot.

However, there are risks in using this technique.

The first risk is the colloquial and informal tone.

Secondly, writing a series of actions, almost as if it were a shopping list, boring the reader. It can be helpful to break up the descriptions in these cases, lightening the sentences.

A final risk is to disorientate the reader who, when reading the actions identified with ‘you‘, cannot identify with the character. Sometimes, the reader has a different nature and character than the character, which would lead them to act in an entirely different way from what is described in the story.

What are you doing, moon, in heaven? Tell me, what are you doing? Silent moon?

Giacomo Leopardi – Night Song of a Wandering Shepherd of Asia

First-person or Second-person narration?

There are several aspects to pay attention to before writing a story. And, at the same time, there are different perspectives to choose from.
bibisco helps you with this. Besides consulting the blog to learn more about narrative techniques and different ways of telling a story, you can use its innovative novel writing software.
You can decide how to describe your characters, what characteristics they will have, and what tone to give your story.

Perspective series- Second person narration - bibisco character's events - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco character’s events


In Second-person narration, the narrative perspective is the narrator addressing the reader or a particular character directly. The story is told in the second-person singular (‘you’). The effect is to engage the reader with great emphasis.