Third POV

by Neil
(Washington)

Question: How do I make a character connect to the reader strongly even if I use third POV since the First POV can do much.


Answer: You can certainly create an effective connection between reader and character using limited third person narration. Some methods...

* Narrating the character's thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. This can be easily done in third person. There are many, many examples. "Close" third person narration is the term often used for this. However, there is also stream-of-consciousness or psycho-narration which are used in literary fiction to describe the thoughts running through a character's mind.

* Put the character in a situation that makes the reader feel sympathy or empathy. Externals can contribute as much as internals.

* Make the character someone the reader can relate to. Give the character faults and weaknesses as well as strengths. (Everyone loves an underdog.) Make the character similar in some ways to your ideal reader.

* Make the character someone the reader can admire -- whether because of their values, courage, sacrifice, etc. If the story is to have a happy ending, make the character someone who clearly deserves to win.

* Use a vocabulary and voice appropriate to the character. This also narrows the distance between narrator and character.

You may not create quite as intimate an experience using third person as one might using first, since third person offers a more objective perspective, but it can be easier to provide exposition in third person or to switch to a different point of view when you need to.

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