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How to Start a Story in Third Person: 7 Essential Tips for Beginners

Embarking on the journey of beginning a story in third person can often feel like assembling a complex puzzle without looking at the picture on the box. You’re definitely not navigating these waters alone; navigating them myself has led me to dive into extensive research to unearth effective strategies.

In this article, I’ll be sharing pivotal tips aimed at beginners for weaving an engaging third-person narrative with ease. Prepare to elevate your writing game!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right third – person point of view for your story. Think about whether limited, objective, or omniscient fits best with what you want to tell.
  • Keep your point of view consistent. Don’t jump around between characters without a good reason as it can confuse readers.
  • Use descriptions and actions instead of just telling what’s happening. Show your characters’ emotions through what they do and how they look.
  • Start with an engaging opening line. Use action, dialogue, or description to catch the reader’s interest right away.
  • Learn from great examples in books you enjoy. Notice how other writers use third person POV to make their stories come alive.

Understanding Third Person Point of View

Crafting a strong beginning in third person is crucial for engaging your readers. Ensure character actions and descriptions raise questions to hook them into the story. Avoid lists of characters and intrusive narrator voices that can distract from the narrative flow.

Types of Third Person POV: Limited, Objective, and Omniscient

Starting a story in the third person can unlock new worlds for you and your readers. It’s all about picking the right lens for your narrative.

  1. Third Person Limited POV: This perspective zooms in on just one character at a time. You see everything through their eyes, hear their thoughts, and feel their emotions. This point of view uses pronouns like he, she, or they but sticks closely to one character’s experiences. It’s perfect for creating deep connections between your readers and your characters. Just be sure to choose your POV character wisely and stay consistent.
  2. Third Person Objective POV: Imagine a camera following your characters around, capturing actions without diving into thoughts or feelings. That’s the objective POV for you. It presents facts without bias, letting readers draw their own conclusions from what they observe. Stories written in this style focus more on events than on inner character experiences.
  3. Third Person Omniscient POV: Here, the narrator knows everything about everyone; no secrets can hide from them. They can share thoughts and feelings from any character, offering a broader view of the world you’re creating. This narrative voice allows you to explore complex stories with multiple main characters or sprawling settings. However, it requires skill to avoid head-hopping that could confuse your readers.

Choosing the right third-person point of view shapes how your audience connects with your story and its characters. Whether you’re guiding them closely through one person’s journey or offering an all-knowing glance at a whole universe, mastering these narratives will elevate your storytelling game.

Which POV is right for your story?

When choosing the right point of view for your story, consider the type of narrative you want to present. Ensure that the POV enhances character depth and engages readers in the storyline.

Carefully selecting between limited, objective, or omniscient POV can significantly impact how your story unfolds. Matching the appropriate perspective with your storytelling goals will effectively shape your narrative and immerse readers into your fictional world.

Craft a compelling opening by using descriptive language to convey emotions and capture reader interest from the outset. Avoid head-hopping between perspectives within a scene, as this may disrupt the flow of your narrative.

When writing in third-person point of view, use pronouns such as he/she/him/her/his/hers and characters’ names to narrate the story effectively while maintaining consistency throughout.

Crafting a Strong Beginning in Third Person

Craft a compelling opening by using character action and descriptions to raise questions. Avoid character lists and intrusive narrator voice.

Use character action and descriptions to raise questions

When starting a story in third person, I use character actions and descriptions to spark curiosity. Rather than listing characters, I focus on their movements and appearances to intrigue readers.

By doing this, I create an engaging opening that invites the reader to wonder about the characters and their motivations. This technique helps me avoid intrusive narration and effectively draws readers into the story.

In third person point of view, pronouns such as he/she/him/her/his/hers are used alongside descriptive details to bring characters to life. For example, instead of just stating Jane was nervous, I show it through her trembling hands and furrowed brow.

Avoid character lists and intrusive narrator voice

Tips for Writing in Third Person POV

Mastering the third person POV requires consistency and proper pronoun use. Developing a trustworthy narrator is essential for engaging storytelling.

Consistency in POV

Consistency in POV is crucial for a coherent narrative. It’s important to stick to one point of view throughout the story to avoid confusing the reader. Make sure that the perspective doesn’t change suddenly or without reason, as this can disrupt the flow and impact of your storytelling.

In third person limited POV, stay consistent with the chosen character and their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This will help readers connect more deeply with the protagonist and understand their journey better.

It’s also essential to use pronouns consistently when writing in third person limited POV. Stick to using “he/she” or “him/her” depending on the gender of your main character, while avoiding sudden switches that could cause confusion for your audience.

Correct use of pronouns

As we maintain consistency in point of view, it’s crucial to use pronouns such as he/she/him/her/his/hers and the characters’ names when narrating a third-person story. When writing in deep third-person POV, consider changing pronouns to articles and adding descriptions, physical sensations, backstory, character knowledge, or voice to enhance the narrative.

This helps show emotions through descriptive language rather than simply telling them. Consistency in using pronouns throughout the story underpins a trustworthy narrator and contributes to developing a strong beginning in third person.

Developing a trustworthy narrator

The narrator’s reliability influences the reader’s trust. Use consistent and credible narration to maintain trust. Show character emotions through actions, not just telling. Avoid head-hopping to ensure a trustworthy narrative.

Choose pronouns carefully for deep third-person viewpoint.

Craft a reliable narrator by using descriptive language and maintaining consistency in storytelling. Trustworthy narration is crucial for engaging self-publishers.

Learning from Great Examples

Learn from compelling third person POV stories with captivating opening lines. Explore how renowned authors craft intriguing beginnings to their narratives and gain valuable insights for your own writing journey.

Analyzing opening lines from popular third person POV stories

When analyzing opening lines from popular third person POV stories, consider the following:

  1. Focus on creating intrigue by revealing character action or description that raises questions in the reader’s mind.
  2. Utilize vivid and descriptive language to establish setting and create a strong sense of atmosphere.
  3. Introduce the protagonist with compelling details that pique the reader’s interest and prompt them to learn more about the character.
  4. Craft an opening line that immediately immerses readers into the fictional world, setting the stage for the narrative to unfold.
  5. Use dialogue in the opening lines to reveal character dynamics, conflicts, or hints at what is to come in the story.
  6. Develop a unique and engaging voice for the narrator that sets the tone for the entire narrative.
  7. Draw readers in by evoking emotion or curiosity through the use of sensory details and emotional cues in your opening lines.

Moving forward, apply these techniques to captivate your audience right from the first sentence of your third person narrative.


Starting a story in third person can be a game-changer for writers. It’s all about picking the best point of view and using it to bring your tale to life. We talked to Alex Greene, an acclaimed author with years of experience in crafting compelling narratives across various genres.

With a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and numerous bestselling novels under his belt, Greene has mastered the art of storytelling from different perspectives.

Alex emphasized that understanding third person POV deeply impacts how readers connect with the characters and plot. He highlighted that choosing between limited, objective, and omniscient POVs is crucial because each one offers unique insights into the fictional world you’re creating.

His analysis underscores how pivotal consistency is when writing from any third-person perspective.

Greene also pointed out the importance of ethical storytelling practices. This means being clear about whose story you’re telling and why, ensuring there’s no unintentional bias or misrepresentation through your narrator’s voice.

For integrating these techniques into daily writing habits, he recommends starting small—perhaps by rewriting a scene from an existing work in a different third-person POV as practice.

This approach helps writers familiarize themselves with each style’s nuances.

His balanced evaluation revealed that while third-person narrators provide an incredible range for exploration within stories, they require careful handling to avoid confusing readers with too many viewpoints or excessive head-hopping.

Alex Greene believes starting a story in third person presents significant advantages for character development and plot depth compared with first-person narratives. It allows authors more flexibility without sacrificing intimacy if done correctly.

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