Hi folks, I'm continuing the POV series for the month of March. This week, I'm going tackle Third Person Limited POV. In this POV all the characters are referred to as "he", "she", "it" and "they." Up front, I like to write in this POV. I always feel like I'm out of the straight-jacket of first person and can get on with telling my story. Here is the way I think about Third Person Limited. Imagine a little camera flying around; this camera is buzzing around your main character. This camera can only see what the character sees. Your camera can also see the thoughts of the main character too, but no one else. Third person is a way to sneak around first person in my opinion, kind of like watching a movie of one person's story but not through their eyes.
One advantage of using third person limited POV is you put some distance between your reader and your main character. This space creates room for more action and scenery. It's like your reader is peering into the arena instead of being in the arena. This POV is the one oral storytellers cut their teeth on. I think writers come from all kinds of backgrounds and traditions. I'm a Southerner and my family held me spellbound for years with their embellished tales of down-home life. I really believe that's why I connect with third person limited POV. "Down by the creek, a long time ago, some bad stuff went down."
You can create that sense of "once upon a time" with the third person limited which is tough to create with first person. You also get the bonus of more wiggle room with the descriptive language. In first person, you can't snap out crunchy descriptive words that aren't in the head of your main character. You also get to spend more time focused on the action of a story if you are about a plot driven wild ride. Finally, third person POV lends itself well to epic storytelling. If you've got a really BIG story to share, the subjective POV will help you cast out that big net.
Think about this stuff as you choose your perfect POV for your story. I will be back with more POV reflections next week...
This week's doodle: "Kid"
There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe