What’s an Omniscient Narrator? Everything You Need to Know

What Are the Four Narrative Voices?

1. First-Person Narrative Voice

4. Omniscient Third-Person Narrator

What Is an Omniscient Narrator?

  1. William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies
  2. Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  3. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
  1. Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing
  2. Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You
  3. Brit Bennett’s The Mothers

Why Use an Omniscient Narrator?

How Do You Know If It’s an Omniscient Narrator?

  1. Whose voice are you hearing? Is it the same voice throughout the novel? Does it remain unchanged regardless of whose character’s story it’s delving into? If so, you have an omniscient narrator.
  2. Look at whose perspective the story is being told from. Do we only get one or two people’s takes on what’s happening, or are we getting multiple, varied perspectives? If so, it’s likely an omniscient narrator.
  3. Is there anything the narrator doesn’t know about? If the narrator can provide details of everything that’s been and that’s currently happening, and even hint at what’s yet to come, you have yourself an omniscient narrator.
  • “I/We” indicates a first-person narrator
  • “You” is the rare second person
  • “He/She/They” means the story is told in the third-person narrative voice.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an Omniscient Narrator

1. Show, Don’t Tell

2. Stay Consistent

3. Don’t Go Head Hopping

Should You Use an Omniscient Narrator?

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