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6 Tips for Writing Deep Third-Person Point of View

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  • February 20, 2024
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  • 8 min read


Getting into the characters’ minds without the intimate “I” might seem like a challenge, but mastering the Third-Person Point of View (POV) can turn your narrative into a multifaceted gem gleaming with depth and perspective.

In the intricate dance of storytelling, a deep Third-Person POV offers a grand stage where a writer can pirouette between the internal and the external, the subjective and the objective, all while maintaining the elegant balance of narrative distance.

In this blog, we’ll explore 6 essential tips for writing deep Third-Person POV that will help you craft vivid characters. Whether you’re writing a thrilling fantasy saga or a nuanced contemporary drama, these strategies will empower you to captivate readers.

Understand the Third-Person Point of View

The third-person point of view refers to the perspective of a narrator who is not part of the story and uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they” rather than “I.” There are two main types of third-person point of view:

– Third-person limited

The narrator tells the story from the perspective of just one character. We only get access to that particular character’s inner thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The narrator only knows what that character knows.

– Third-person omniscient

The narrator has full access to the inner workings of all the characters and provides commentary and background information that the characters do not have. The narrator is like an all-knowing god, not limited to a single perspective.

Tips to Write a Deep POV:

Here are 6 amazing tips that you should use when you write Deep POV.

1. Get to Know Your Character Deeply

To write a deep third-person point of view effectively, you need to comprehensively understand your viewpoint character. Knowing your character inside and out will allow you to convey their perspective convincingly.  Following is a technique our writers at the Book Writing Founders use when writing a character description.

Start by creating an in-depth character profile covering key details like:

  • Background – Where are they from? What is their family situation? What major events shaped them?
  • Motivations – What drives them? What do they want most in life?
  • Goals – What concrete goals are they pursuing in the story? How do these tie into their motivations?
  • Fears – What are they afraid of? What would be their worst nightmare?
  • Personality – Are they introverted or extroverted? Optimistic or pessimistic? Passionate or logical?
  • Relationships – How do they interact with other characters? Who are the important people in their life?
  • Flaws – What are their weaknesses? Shortcomings? Bad habits?
  • Talents – What are they good at? What unique skills do they have?
  • Physical description – Height, weight, hair color, eye color, distinguishing features.

Fleshing out all these details will allow you to embody your viewpoint character fully. You’ll understand how they think, how they see the world, and what lens they view events. This will make writing a deep third-person perspective feel natural.

Spend time getting to know your character inside and out before starting your draft. You can even interview them, envision scenarios, or write journal entries in their voice. The more familiar you are with the intricacies of their personality, the better you’ll be able to convey their distinctive perspective.

2. Focus on One Character at a Time

When writing a deep third-person point of view, focusing on one character’s perspective per scene or chapter is important rather than jumping randomly between multiple characters. Sticking with a single Deep POV for an extended period allows you to immerse deeply in that character’s emotions, thoughts, senses, and experiences.

Switching POVs too frequently disrupts the reader’s connection with any one character. It also makes the narrative feel disjointed and distances readers from individual characters. Maintaining a consistent Deep POV for a full scene or chapter leads to a much deeper exploration of that character’s inner world.

If you switch POVs between scenes or chapters, make the transitions clear. Use scene breaks, extra line spacing, or explicit cues like “Meanwhile…” to signal that the POV character is changing. Don’t change POVs within the same paragraph or page without some kind of divide.

Adhering to one point of view (POV)—a key among narrative writing elements—enhances story depth and coherence. Resist the urge to jump into a different character’s head just because it feels convenient. Staying in one character’s perspective will lend your story greater focus, depth, and coherence. Your readers will connect more strongly with each viewpoint character.

3. Use Deep Point of View Techniques

One of the keys to writing a deep third-person point of view is to fully inhabit the perspective of your viewpoint character. Instead of telling the reader what’s happening from the outside, put them directly into the mind and body of the character.

Describe what the character sees, hears, feels, smells, and tastes. Portray their thoughts, emotions, and visceral reactions using vivid inner monologue. For example:


“ John’s palms began to sweat as he sat across from Amanda at the restaurant table. His heart pounded against his ribs. It felt like a jackhammer trying to break free. She was even more beautiful than he remembered, with those dazzling green eyes that seemed to pierce right through him. Would she notice how nervous he was?”

“Calm down, John told himself, though his thudding heart refused to listen. He wiped his hands on his pants under the table. Come on, say something charming and witty. Compliment her! No, wait. Too obvious. Just relax. Oh god, now the silence is getting awkward. Speak!”

Using descriptive details and inner monologue creates a much more immersive experience for the reader. Instead of telling them John is nervous on a date, you allow them to directly feel those nerves and self-doubt. This drops them straight into John’s perspective.

Use all five senses, convey raw emotions, and amplify anxiety and excitement. Deep POV collapses that narrative distance between the reader and the character.

4. Limit External Backstory


One of the keys to Deep POV is revealing the backstory organically through the character’s lens rather than via external narration. Avoid explanatory chunks of backstory and description that feel removed from the character’s direct experience as much as possible.

Instead, sprinkle in only details that your point of view character is noticing, feeling, and thinking in the moment. Let their perspectives color how the backstory gets pieced together.

You can reveal glimpses of backstory indirectly through the character’s thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. But limit external explanations that break the immersion.

Use flashbacks sparingly as well. While they can be useful, overdone flashbacks stop the forward momentum and distract from the character’s thoughts and emotions.

The key is ensuring the backstory blends seamlessly into the character’s perspective.

Incorporating these techniques effectively can be a challenge, which is why many authors turn to book writing services. These services offer professional guidance to seamlessly weave backstory into your narrative, ensuring your character’s journey is compelling and immersive.

5. Employ ‘Free Indirect Discourse’

Free indirect discourse is a powerful technique for a deep third-person point of view. This allows fluid shifts between the character’s thoughts and the narrator’s voice without direct attribution, like “she thought” or “he wondered.”

For example:

She glanced at the clock. Five minutes until her interview. “Of course I’m nervous, who wouldn’t be?” But she had prepared, done research, and knew what to expect. “Don’t mess this up! Just relax. You’ve got this.”  Deep breathing now. Shoulders back, head high. The receptionist called her name with a smile. “Here we go!”

This moves freely between the character’s thoughts in italics and the narrator’s descriptions. It adds intimacy without constant “she thought” tags, pulling the reader deeper into the character’s perspective. The transitions feel seamless, like we’re overhearing the character’s mental dialogue.

6. Avoid the ‘Psychic Narrator’ Pitfall

One of the biggest mistakes that can pull readers out of deep POV is allowing the narrator to know more than the viewpoint character possibly could. This “psychic narrator” destroys immersion in the character’s experiences and perspective.

For example, imagine a scene where Bob nervously approaches his boss to ask for a raise. The narrator shouldn’t say, “Little did Bob know, but his boss was already planning to promote him that day.” There’s no way the narrator could know the boss’s internal thoughts and plans.

Stick to Bob’s perspective and describe his nervous sweating, rapid breathing, and churning stomach as he agonizes over bringing up the sensitive topic. Only show the boss’s reactions and dialog. Avoid omniscient narrator moments that peer into other characters’ minds or foreshadow unknown future events.

The deep third-person narrator should be limited to the viewpoint character’s experiences, thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. Resist the temptation to let the narrator know more than the character possibly could. This will keep the reader in one consistent perspective for a truly immersive experience.

In this vein, it’s helpful for authors to occasionally employ a book editing services provider who can help you with your creativity and ensure that your perspective is consistent.


A deep third-person point of view offers a unique way to narrate your stories, blending the personal with a broad perspective. With the 6 tips we’ve discussed, you’re now prepared to use this narrative style more effectively.

Remember, this technique is a tool to connect with your readers and bring your characters to life. With these tips, you’re ready to create stories that can truly engage your audience. Now, it’s time to put these tips to use, explore their potential, and let your stories shine with depth and connection.

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