Deep POV vs. Omniscient POV

Deep POV vs. Omniscient POV
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The debate between deep Point Of View and omniscient Point Of  View is becoming a major topic of discussion in the writers’ community. Many writers are cheering for the profound perspective of the characters they create, hoping their choice is what their readers want. I’m not convinced this is the way to convey all tales.

I can’t even begin to guess how many articles within the field of writing I’ve read in the past six months that have concentrated on deep point of view. Numerous novelists and journalists now follow the trend of putting the reader inside the mind of the character in which point of view is being used for the scene or maybe the entire story. The reader sees, feels, and understands the world as only that one character knows it. The reader is in the head of that character and isn’t allowed out.

The deep POV is usually written in first person, although writers have done it in limit third person too. In the latter, a reader is more likely to see the POV change from one scene to another, but not any more than that.

The articles I’ve read teach techniques to obtain that more emotional connection to the characters. The omission of dialogue tags appears to be the most prevalent. In addition, the inner dialogue is held just with that one character. The reader understands the book from one perspective. In order to keep the characters straight in a person’s mind through dialogue without using proper names within each spoken passage, the writer must create narrative amongst the dialogues to explain who is speaking. This makes the conversations between characters more real to life and the tale is told in a tighter perception, as if the reader was one of the characters. Howbeit, there is more technical writing labor to this way of presenting the story. The writer must know when the narrative is needed and when it is not.

In the omniscient POV, the reader is allowed to know what all characters are thinking, feeling, and doing. Yes, the dialogue tags are used. The point of view isn’t within the story, but instead, hovers above it. The writer becomes a God-like figure showing the tale to the reader. The novel is, of course, presented only in third person. All I have read advising novices not use this POV because of the strong temptation to head-hop and the difficulties there are with confusion of characters and actions. The enthrallment flies out of the novel this way.

I’ve read a few books written in the omniscient POV. Unfortunately, I only thought one of them as being successful in pulling the multitudes of perspectives into a worthwhile novel, God Game.

Despite my age, I am a novice writer. Even thinking about how to write a book in the omniscient POV is mind-boggling to me.

The deep POV has its drawbacks too. From what I have read, my understanding is there isn’t much room for narrative even though drops of it are being sprinkled within the paragraphs of dialogue. Yes, it’s up close and personal, but it doesn’t give the reader much of a chance to see the forest because they’re tangled in there amongst the trees.

I’m certain there isn’t any one way to write. There isn’t any wrong way to write. Knowing this, I pick and choose where to put any deep POV into my stories, and allow myself to step back to a more traditional POV stance, whether it be first or third person, when dealing with the rest of the passages of my manuscript.


What type of Point Of View are you using when you write?

There should be two main objectives in ordinary prose writing: to convey a message and to include in it nothing that will distract the reader’s attention or check his habitual pace of reading – he should feel that he is seated at ease in a taxi, not riding a temperamental horse through traffic. – Robert Graves


14 thoughts on “Deep POV vs. Omniscient POV

  1. Writing in first person takes away my ability to see the big picture in my stories. I may tell the story from mainly one persons perspective but always in third person and I allow myself to peek into other character’s minds aw well. As a reader I tend to want to know more about why everyone is doing what they’re doing.


    1. From what I understand, the omniscient POV can get confusing. However, getting into different characters heads per scene can be done a little easier. I just make sure that the scene from the first shows my shift in perspective.


  2. I don’t write fiction, or works of any length, but I read a lot. I like to read stories and books where the author keeps me on course, but gives my mind room to imagine part of the surroundings, the people, etc. I like to jump to my conclusions. I love it when I jump to one conclusion, the main character to another and we’re both wrong! To me, that’s masterful writing.


  3. I fall all over most writer-ly terms. The story speaks the way it wants. I never try to force it. I wrote a story in first person and someone said I should try it in third. For the heck of it I did, and hated it. I haven’t tried omniscient as it’s too mind boggling. Good discussion post, Glynis. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The writer-ly terms are getting so numerous. Back at the beginning of this “new” century, I took a class given by Writers’ Digest. All was achieved through regular snail mail. I still have the text book and workbook from that class. No where within the course was there the mention of all the particulars that I find scattered throughout cyber space these days.

      This term, deep POV, was called limited third person a mere 16 years ago whether it was written with tags or not. Writing without tags was a strategy for pace and/or variety.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you got something out of this post. I wasn’t sure about writing it because it kind of goes against what’s currently popular in the business of writing. Obviously, I don’t adhere well to all that is new and/or in vogue.


  4. schillingklaus

    Omniscdient pov is my one true way to go, regardless of what all others try to force me to believe. I rigorously avoid anything in a deep POV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both sides of this pendulum are extreme as far as I can see. The omniscient way does have its good points, especially in that first draft because you can get inside each and every character. Trying to flush out everything else in later drafts may be a hassle though.


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