It is evident that learning how to write in third person implies having solid knowledge of pronouns and applying only the third person, not others to present the ideas. It means that the text will contain no ‘I,’ ‘you,’ or ‘we,’ but it will be full of ‘he,’ ‘she,’ ‘her,’ ‘his,’ ‘they,’ ‘it,’ ‘them,’ and other pronouns of that kind. Thus, the right use of pronouns in the text which you write in third person does not allow you to use either the second or the first person to present the required point of view.
Why do writers frequently use this method? It has a lot of advantages, in particular making the text more flexible and giving the information objectively, without any prejudice or subjectivity. In fiction, the authors who prefer the third person always introduce a knowledgeable narrator, who guides the readers and demonstrates that he or she is well aware of the events, feelings, and intentions of the characters. Which of the pronouns should you use if you use the perspective of a narrator? They are:
He, his, him, she, her, hers, it, its, they, their, them, theirs
How to Write in the Third Person Effectively
- Select one of the scenes in a piece of text you have presented from the point of view of the first person. This approach will be more effective if you make sure this scene is particularly exciting to read or problematic. Besides, we recommend starting with a passage with both exposition and dialogue.
- Try rewriting the passage from the point of view of the third person. It can be time-consuming, so be patient. Text may be transformed with the use of certain strategies and effective methods of rewriting. Make a decision whether you want to get a perspective of limited third person or omniscient third person. We recommend starting with using a limited third person to get more practice first.
- Mind the change of the overall mood and voice of the narration that takes place together with the change in perspective. Get sufficient knowledge about how to write in third person and notice a new scope of freedom you get with this new approach. In case of choosing a limited third person, mind which new facts about the character you can learn. In case of choosing an omniscient third person, mind whether the story is enriched or inhibited with a new approach. Try to analyze negative aspects as well and notice all available restrictions and limitations.
- Compose a list of advantages (choose three or four) that a perspective of the third person has. Think about developing the characters, a plot, and a text structure. Does this new strategy add to the refined nature of the text?
- Compose a list of restrictions that a perspective of the third person has. Consider this specific text to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen point of view. Does it make development of the key characters more complicated? Are the previously used techniques sufficient for showing the characters? Does the third person make your voice weaker or stronger? If your answer to the previous question is ‘weaker,’ would you choose this method despite all the disadvantages?
- If you believe that writing an essay in third person is good for the chosen scene, try to work with the whole piece of fiction and change the point of view throughout. If you see that it is much better to use the first person, use the original text without changes.
Writing in the Third Person: Is It Suitable for All Texts?
Now you are trying to find the best text to practice writing in the third person, and that requires you awareness of all details of such kind of writing.
We will use the following definition: third person writing implies developing the content without any ‘I,’ ‘you,’ or any other subjective pronouns. So, the starting point for your writing will be your understanding that you should write only in third person.
Note that not only creative writing, but also academic assignments use the third person.
- Academic Writing
You may ask us about how to write in third person about yourself in academic assignments. How and when is it appropriate to opt for the third person?
We can give you a simple answer: your academic writing will look more professional with the use of the third person. Thus, the content obtains a high level of objectivity and loses a personal touch. Consequently, the readers will find the text more credible, and it will be easier for them not to think about their personal opinion, but to concentrate on facts, arguments, and evidence.
As for creative writing, the author can be flexible in using the person to present the required content. Academic writing does not forbid using the first person entirely, but it still implies being objective and formal in presenting the facts.
Why does that happen?
Writing an academic assignment, you want your readers to focus not on your personality but on the content of the paper. It is not important to make your voice vivid as your personal opinion is typically not required to be included. What is crucial in academic assignment is objectivity with evidence and sufficient research conducted.
- Creative Writing
Being aware of how to write an essay in third person, you can also apply this strategy for creative purposes from different perspectives:
Writing from this perspective, you can take as many characters as you want and switch between them in your story. However, the writer never enters the thoughts of the character. The narrator is invisible, merely observing all the events and actions.
Writing from this perspective, you can have different narrators and switch between them. It is not the strategy that uses one character, who reveals his or her ideas, actions, and thoughts. The author can use the narrator who has extensive knowledge about all characters. There are no limitations in presenting information in case the writer uses third person omniscient.
Writing from this perspective, you are restricted to a perspective of only one character. The narrator uses the actions, feelings, and ideas of one person; however, you can opt for more objectivity and other choices, including stepping back.
- Episodically limited
Writing from this perspective, you can reveal the thoughts of numerous characters, but you have to use the trick of focusing only on a single character at a time. Do not forget to mind making smooth transitions to make the text easily readable.