Types of narration and POV play a crucial role in your story’s overall dramatic effect.
What is a narrator?
The narrator is the character whose point of view frames the entire story.
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.
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.
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68 replies on “Types of narration infographic – 6 narrative POVs”
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 🙂
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.
so im writing a novel….my first but, i cant figure out which narration to go off of….book revolves around 1 characters story…but i want to be able to express other characters feelings the same as the main characters feelings… basically i want to describe all the characters feelings……sorry if i dont make any sense im a total wreck at describing this
It would probably be best to go for a third person omniscient narrator– they’d be able to “see” the thoughts of all the characters as well as describe the events around them. It’s okay if the story revolves mainly around one person. Even when the focus shifts to other characters, the narrator would still be able to “see” inside of their heads. And even though they’re omniscient, they can still leave out some details to keep the suspense going.
Most importantly, don’t worry about drawing the line between different types of narration! Use whichever qualities work best for you. As long as it’s consistent, you’re alright.
this was very helpful!!
This was very helpful for my school test.
Hi QueenStephanee, how can I help?
i´m writing a book that is on three sisters and i want to alternate between the three sisters but is also going to be told by a narrator. which point of view should i do?
Hi Madison, thanks for your question 🙂 It sounds as though you’d like to have multiple points of view, so you could do this by having each chapter told from a different character’s viewpoint (one of the sisters), with the name of the sister currently telling the story as the chapter title (or a subtitle). This would make it clear to the reader who’s currently telling the story. I’m not sure you’d need another narrator – how would they relate to the story? Are they a secondary character?
I hope that helps. Good luck!
thanks! helped a lot!
I’m glad to hear that, Madison! Keep writing 🙂
Glad to hear that! 🙂
HELPED SO MUCH THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS