Types of narration infographic – 6 narrative POVs

Types of narration and POV play a crucial role in your story’s overall dramatic effect. The narrator is the character whose point of view frames the entire story. Our post on the elements of the unreliable narrator detailed one type, but there are numerous narrator types (such as the first person narrator who uses ‘I’). Here is a handy infographic explaining 6 kinds of narrator. When you’re finished reading, try the The Now Novel ideas finder – it will help you plan your narrator and other characters.

The types of narration - infographic

Read more on the different kinds of narration:

If you want to know more about types of narration, read our best posts on the topic. Go here to read all about the unreliable narrator and how to use this narrative device. Another of our best articles on narration examines the difference between unreliable and omniscient narrators. And here are 5 examples of narrative from famous books that show how to use narration for core story purposes such as characterization and creating rich setting.

What is your favourite type of narrator?

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  • Pety Golja

    Very interesting and useful article 🙂 just a thought, didn’t Charlotte Bronte write Jane Eyre?

    • Thank you, Pety. You’re right, must have been a slip due to Austen and Bronte’s protagonist having the same first name. It’s been corrected, thanks for spotting that 🙂

  • Sisa

    How can you be a proper omniscient narrator and not be mistaken for a limited third person narrator?

    • Hi Sisa! While the third person limited only gives the reader access to the thoughts of whichever character is currently the focal/viewpoint character in a given passage, omniscient means that the reader knows every character’s subjective feelings and experiences in a scene (it’s not limited to one person). One way to make sure that your narration is truly omniscient is to describe multiple characters’ opinions in a single scene, in such a way that it’s not just one private inner world being shown.

  • I’m trying to write my novella in the first person past tense… But although it’s getting harder to keep from revealling things the character knows because of his timeline, and the reader finding out too much of the story to make it uninteresting. May go to seperate styles in each chapter instead… too much to think about, too many styles to try.

    • Because a novella’s quite short it might be best not to jump around and use too many different POVs, but I’m sure you’ll find a solution that works. Make a backup of your story and experiment with changing the POV until you find the one that feels best.

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