Narrator Types

narrator

The narrator is the person who tells the story, who lets the reader “hear” and “see” what happens in a story. The mode of narration is also called the ‘point of view’. There are different kind of narrators. Below you will find a short description of some of them.

First person

The first person narrator tells the story from his own perspective, using words like ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’. The story is about things this character – the narrator – is experiencing. The narrator is part of the story. Thoughts are being told, not shown. The inner thoughts of this character is revealed to the audience, but not to the other characters. The first person narrator can be a less important character, witnessing events, or a person who retells a story of someone else. This point of view often gives a closeness to the character, and is used in autobiographies.

Second person

The second person narrative uses the pronouns ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’, suggesting the audience is part of the story. Because this type of narration is used to address the reader personally, it is frequently used in advertising and rarely in fiction. This kind of narrative is usually used in ‘Choose your adventure’ books. It helps to make the reader “feel” like the protagonist; pulls the reader into the action.

Third person limited

When using the third person limited, the narrator knows the feelings and thoughts of only one character. The rest of the characters are presented only externally. Pronouns that are used when talking about the characters are ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’. The main character is closely followed throughout the story. Using the third person limited narrator, the writer has more freedom than using the first person, but less knowledge the when the third person omniscient is used. This is the most common third person narrator used.

Third person objective

When the story is told without describing any thoughts or feelings of a character, but gives an objective, unbiased point of view, it is told from the point of view of a third person objective narrator. The narrator doesn’t favorite one character over the other. This is also referred to the ‘dramatic point of view’ as the narrator tells the story as if he is merely a spectator of the events.

Third person omniscient

This narrator knows everything – all the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story. Even though the narrator is not limited, using the point of view of the third person omniscient can be confusing to the reader, when they jump from one character’s mind to the other to show how each contributes to the plot.

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