Third-person limited omniscient  

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{{Template} The third-person limited omniscient is a narrative mode. In this mode, the reader and writer observe the situation from the outside through the senses and thoughts of every character equally and without bias, although that focal character may shift throughout the course of any given narrative. Furthermore, there is no implied fictional intermediary between the reader and the story, as there would be in the case of a fictional newspaper article with an implied fictional reporter.

Although first-person fictional narratives are popular as well, the third-person is seen as the current preferred voice in fiction, with the prominent exception of most detective and some police procedural novels.

While an omniscient point of view can change viewpoint characters instantly, the limited omniscient point of view narrative limits narration to what can be known, seen, thought, or judged from a single character's perspective. Thus, the narration is limited in the same way a first-person narrative might be, but the text is written from the third-person perspective.

Henry James, who used the third-person limited omniscient narrative in his novel The Ambassadors and coined the phrase "effaced narration" to describe it, believed this could create high art, and contemporary literary writers seem to agree. The effaced narrator dominates contemporary literary art. James pointed out that in effaced narration, the art consisted of varying the reader's psychological distance from the action, bringing the reader in close for high drama, and further out for ordinary events.

See also




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