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Limits and value of limited 3rd person POV: Editor's Notes #133
November 15, 2012

". . . young writers shouldn't be afraid of striving to emulate their favorites.
It's a good way to learn, as long as you move on from it
and don't publish too many of the results."

--Poppy Z. Brite

In this issue:

1. Limits and value of limited third person point of view
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

1. Limited third person POV
Limited third person POV is similar to first person POV (see issue 129) in that the narrator can give the thoughts and feelings of only one character, usually the main character or protagonist. It is different from first person POV in that the narrator tells about the main character using the pronouns he and she rather than I. It also allows the narrator to describe actions other than those that the main character observes as long as the inner lives of other characters are revealed only by their own actions and by what others say about them.

Strengths of limited third person POV
  • Allows descriptions of all characters, including the main character
  • Allows a focus on the inner life of one person
  • Has the potential of creating a deep connection with the main character

Weaknesses of limited third person POV
  • Can show only one inner life throughout the story
  • Doesn't work well for stories with lots of action

Examples of limited third person POV
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
This series on point of view offers you the challenge of switching the point of view of something you are writing and observing the changes that creates in the writing. Those who want to dig deep on this one might try writing something in first person and then switching to limited third person or vice versa. I'm always happy to hear about your experiments and what you learn from them.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained. 


3. Interesting Web site
If you need to research a date in history, this site can give you some quick facts. This could be a great jumping off spot for further research.

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