Tuesday, April 16, 2013

O is for Omniscient


Writing in third person omniscient is my favorite form of writing.

Omniscient is where the narrator writes as a nonparticipant (one not appearing as a character), and views the characters by seeing into the minds of all or at least some of the characters. He writes using "he," "she," or "they." He is all-knowing, or omniscient.

Of course, this isn't him.
My eighty-five-year-old friend/author says, "It is as though you were a fly on a wall, seeing all, hearing all, and knowing all." He also says, "You can even know what the dog is thinking."

The more I thought about this, the more I began to like the idea.

I find writing in first person very interesting, as well, but...I believe the possibilities are more open for the third person omniscient writer.

 There is also limited omniscient or even selective omniscient. As a writer, you can choose the character you would like to see through, whether it be a single character, or a major or minor character instead of seeing through all the characters.

The choice is yours. I've heard some people tell me that when they open a book to find out if they would be interested in reading it, they see how it is written. If it is in first person, they close it and go no further. I've heard this opinion from more than one person.

Thus, I've made my choice to write third person omniscient.  Before you choose to do any writing, especially for a novel, find what suits you best. Of course, the choice is yours.

Happy Writing.


Samantha May said...

Thanks so much for visiting earlier! New follower here :)

I agree that 3rd person omniscient is a really great way to narrate a story. I have a hard time writing it though, so I tend to stick with 1st person.

Happy Wednesday!

Writing Through College

Kathy Collier said...

Hi Samantha: I had trouble writing it at first too, but I had a tutor that is 85 years old. My first novel was in first and I rewrote the entire thing to 3rd person omniscient. By all means, first person is loved by a lot of people. I just felt more comfortable when I learned to write 3rd. I would probably have difficulty now learning to write first person, but I know some novels need to be written that way, and some agents prefer first.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I have never really enjoyed writing first person and I was looking over some old notebooks and I think I used to write third person omniscient a lot, but these days I'm usually third person subjective. I say I think, because these terms always confuse me :).

Thanks to your post I might try third person omniscient again to see how I do :).

Tasha's Thinkings

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Nick Wilford said...

It does allow for the greatest flexibility, and you can view events from more than one angle. Just need to be careful not to be all over the place with headhopping.

Kathy Collier said...

Hi Nick:

I so agree about the headhopping. It is always best to stay with one particular character throughout the chapter. Thanks for mentioning that.

Jessica Peterson said...

I love the pictures with quotes that you had scattered throughout this post. The last one especially! :)

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