Third Person Limited Point of View

As discussed in a previous post, third person POV breaks down into sub-categories. I’m going to focus on the pros and cons of only one subcategory in this post so we don’t get muddled. Today’s focus is third person limited POV.

Here’s the recap: the story follows one character, the narrator is not a character in the story, and the pronouns “he”, “she”, “they”, and “it” are used to tell the story.

The Pros of Third Person Limited POV:
  • It allows the reader to be reasonably close to the character without overwhelming them with too many internal thoughts and feelings.
  • It allows for strong development of the viewpoint character since they are the only viewpoint used throughout the narrative.
  • It allows the reader to see the bigger picture. The reader can see the difference between the character’s opinions and the facts of the situation because the author can show the character’s thoughts along with what is actually happening in the story.
  • The character is able to keep secrets from the reader.
The Cons of Third Person Limited POV:
  • Limits the breadth of story that can be told because it can’t show any event at which the viewpoint character isn’t present.
  • Finding the right balance between the narrator’s voice and the character’s voice can be difficult.
  • The reader is limited to the knowledge of the viewpoint character.
  • There is no access to any other characters thoughts or feeling outside of the viewpoint character’s perception of them.

Did I miss any pros or cons of the third person limited point of view? Let me know in the comments.

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