The third-person narrative is often employed in narrative writing because it zooms in and out of character perspectives to describe actions, feelings, emotions, and thoughts. If you’re unsure how to use the 3rd person perspective in writing, here are some tips and examples.
What is Third Person Narrative?
The third person is one of three perspectives employed in speaking and writing. It’s used to describe the point of view of a third party and uses a variety of pronouns derived from he, her, and it. Books written in third person are often more popular, as well, for their ease of reading.
I often write in first-person narrative, but when I’m writing a complex story from the point of view of multiple characters, I use third person to make things more rounded and streamlined for the reader.
Using Third Person
Third person is a perspective used based on whoever the story or writing in question is about. The subject pronoun is outside of the narrator themself. Third-person texts do not include the perspective of the narrator/writer, nor does it address the reader directly. It also uses certain personal pronouns and possessive pronouns.
Example of a third person sentence:
Jeremy knew it was destined to be. He placed the dog in the backseat of his car and drove away. All he wanted at that time was to ensure the animal got the loving home he deserved.
Third Person Possessive Adjectives in Third Person
So, instead of using me, mine, ours, etc., you would use hers, his, theirs when writing in third person.
Does “You” Belong in 3rd Person Writing?
Third-person writing requires using third-person pronouns, including he, she, it, him, her, them, themselves, himself, herself, or a name. Using “you” means you’re switching to the second person.
How to Introduce Yourself in the Third Person
People typically use the first-person point of view when talking about themselves and their experiences. It would be odd to talk about oneself in the third person all the time, but you might use it occasionally for the sake of humorous effect or attract the attention of another person.
The third person introduces a third party to the person you’re speaking with. If you are a narrator, it’s best to introduce yourself in the first person and start narrating the events in the third person.
How to Start a Story in Third Person
In a story, narrators use the third person if they are not part of the story themselves. Third-person narratives show us a person’s actions, feelings, and thoughts.
Example of how to write in third person:
Nadia dreamt about being a gymnast her entire life. Ever since she can remember, she’s worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and hoped someone would notice all her efforts. She was never the smartest kid in school, but she believed in herself enough to never give up on that spot on the podium.
What Are the 3 Types of 3rd Person?
In writing, there are three ways to approach third-person writing.
The story’s narrator is all-knowing and can see into the past, present, and future. This narrator can assume other people’s perspectives, jumping around in time and providing the reader with their thoughts and observations.
Third-Person Limited Omniscient
In this point of view, the author focuses on one persona and never switches to another. In a novel, the narrator may use this technique throughout the work or employ it in alternating chapters or sections.
The author can regulate the reader’s knowledge and experience by writing from a limited point of view. Used effectively, it can create a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement.
The narrator of a story told from the third-person objective perspective is unbiased and does not share the viewpoint of the character’s emotional reactions. The story is told in an objective, third-person style.
How to Write In Third Person About Yourself
The easiest way to approach this problem is to create a character. You can also use your actual name to write from the third-person perspective.
Why Write in Third-Person?
Fiction writing uses third-person POV quite often. Here are some advantages of employing it as part of your narrative style.
Strong Character Growth Is Emphasized
More characters can be highlighted in a story told from the third-person perspective than in the first- or second-person. These varying perspectives give the reader a complete understanding of the story since they shed light on the plot in ways the other characters cannot.
It Employs Flexible Narrative Possibilities
The advantages of writing in the third person include greater freedom to move around, giving the reader a comprehensive view, and shifting perspectives among multiple characters. You can switch between being completely all-knowing and having only partial or first-person knowledge.
This latter technique allows the reader to experience the world through the eyes of a character, allowing for a more profound understanding of that person and their surroundings.
Makes the Author More Reliable
Third-person narration places the reader in a vantage point far above the action. With the author/narrator not part of the story, they can rise above it, having nothing to lose or gain from certain narrative developments. This makes the story more reliable and lends the story more authority and credibility.
First, Second, and Third Person Pronouns
If you’re confused about the types of pronouns used in each of the three main perspectives, here is a comprehensive list:
- First person pronouns: I, me, mine, myself, we, us, ourselves, ours.
- Second person pronouns: you, your, yours.
- Third person singular pronouns: he, him, his, she, her, it,
- Third person plural pronouns: its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, themselves.
Bottom Line on Third Person
Writing in 3rd person grants the author more credibility and offers a more objective perspective of the characters in the text. Often employed in fictional and academic writing, the third-person point of view makes the text seem more authentic and factually correct.