The Pros And Cons Of Writing In Third Person

The Pros & Cons Of Writing In Third Person

Writers Write is a writing resource. In this post, we look at the pros and cons of writing in third person.

I have discussed first and second person during the last two weeks, this week I want to talk about third person. Remember, the viewpoint you use will either bring your readers closer or take them further away from your story. First and second, for example, are closer than third person – attached or omniscient – or a narrator.

We use the pronouns he, she, it, and they, for third person. We often use third person in crime and romance novels. Back in the day, before self-publishing, we had to cater to very rigid genre demands, but as the rules of genre and of writing in general change and evolve your choice of viewpoint is, mostly, up to you and your story. We have a lot more room to play.

Consider this example of third person attached or limited:

He didn’t know what to do. He held on as tight as he could. His fingers were aching, a numbness spread, his arms began to cramp. Below him. Feet, thousands of feet. A gaping chasm of nothingness. He stretched his toes and felt nothing. No ledge. No foothold. His calf burned from the strain. It hurt. His fist was stuck, the crevice was small, just enough to lock his hand in. His knuckles were raw. He had to get up, he had to pull, once more. He made it onto the ledge. He flipped onto his stomach and looked down, trying to see where she had landed.

The Pros & Cons Of Writing In Third Person

Third person seems to be common ground, for readers and writers. It is a space where most people are comfortable. You can divide third person into attached, omniscient and narrator.

You slam down the phone. You try to calm your breathing. You need to make a plan. You cannot live like this.
“What’d he say?”
“Not now, Mom.” You can’t do this. You run your thumbnail along the ridge in the table.You need help. You need money. You need to raise your child. His child. If only you knew what a few cheap drinks would end up costing you.
Happy writing!

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. The Pros And Cons Of Writing In First Person
  2. The Pros And Cons Of Writing In Second Person
  3. A View To A Skill

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Posted on: 2nd December 2015