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Narrative voice and perspective

Narrative voice and perspective

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Narrative voice and perspective

​​In a nutshell

An audience is informed about events in a story by the narrative perspective. To understand the perspectives of who tells the story and who sees it, the narrative point of view is critical. In this summary, you will learn about the different types of narrative perspectives and how to use them.

Perspective and point of view

Authors use point of view as narration to convey the characters' perspectives and an understanding of events. The plot and theme of your work depend on how the story is told by the narrator. The point of view determines how the narrative is written and who is speaking. Narrative perspective determines the way this point of view is delivered to the reader.

Types of narrative perspective

Type of perspective


Pronouns used

First person
First person narrators provide readers with a deeper insight into the characters' minds. In the first-person point of view, it is impossible to relate events or gain insight into the minds of other characters, so it is purely subjective.
I, We, Us, Me, Ours
Multiple person
A multi-point-of-view story shows the events of a story through the eyes of more than one character. Readers can discern who is telling the story by the different perspectives and voices of the multiple characters.
He, She, They
Second person
Compared to first person or third person narratives, second person narratives assume that the audience shares the speaker's experience with the narrated events.
You, Your
Third person limited
The third person limited point of view is where the narrative is told from the external perspective of one character. As the reader is not limited to the first person narrator's perspective, they have a more objective view of the plot and characters.
He, Him, She, Her, They
Third person omniscient 
The omniscient narrative provides an all-knowing third person view of the narrative. Readers can learn plot details, inner thoughts or hidden events from the omniscient narrator, who can see things that are not visible to the characters.
He, Him, She, Her, They

Narrative voice vs narrative perspective

As the narrator recounts the story's events, they use the narrative voice. A point of view determines how events will be viewed. Narrative voice is distinguished from point of view by how it relates to the speaker.

Stream of consciousness

Usually, a stream of consciousness is in the first-person and attempts to represent the character's thoughts and emotions. The stream of consciousness uses inner monologues and a character's reflection on his or her motivations or ideologies to create a clear character psyche. 

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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What does a narrative perspective do?


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