As discussed in a previous post, third person point of view 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 we will focus on third person limited point of view (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:
- The reader is able 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 because no other viewpoint used throughout the narrative.
- The reader gets to see the bigger picture. The author can show the character’s thoughts along with what is actually happening in the story. This means the reader can see the difference between the character’s opinions and the facts of the situation.
- The character is able to keep secrets from the reader.
The Cons of Third Person Limited POV:
- Limits the breadth of story 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 third person limited point of view? Let me know in the comments.
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