Omniscient is One Point of View

When I started writing in omniscient point of view (OPOV) three years ago, there wasn’t much available on the subject, then either warnings not to do it or tacit discouragement (i.e., listing all the pros of first person and all the cons of omniscient).  Lately, there’s been a lot of interest. 🙂

But with it comes the big misunderstanding about OPOV–that it’s multiple viewpoints.  All most people know about it–erroneously–is that it’s the head hopping POV.  That’s partially due to poor examples from people who don’t understand OPOV’s basic concept, and writers who are looking for head hopping mistakes without understanding what head hopping is.


Only one.

Yes, it can touch different characters so the reader can see what they’re thinking, but that’s filtered through the OPOV narrator.  NOT through a character’s eyes.

The single narrator seems to be a difficult concept to get.  It’s usually not a named character in the story–just a narrator in the background controlling the telling of the story.    Nancy Kress notes:

You can’t just jump around for no reason and stick in any old thoughts you happen to have. The authorial comments and the leaps from character to character should all create a single, strong impression.

The best way to gain an understanding is to read books in OPOV and study how the narrator works.