Lately I have been really fascinated with Point Of View. (As you have no doubt gathered from all of the recent posts on the subject.)
The Omniscient POV has been particularly on my mind as I have been considering using it for my novel.
The Omniscient POV is perhaps the only POV that is not an actual character in your story, but is in itself an outside persona witnessing the events taking place in your story world.
In other words, omniscient POV is what is known as a narrator. But it's not just any narrator.
In one of my favorite "writing" book's author, Elizabeth George, describes the omniscient viewpoint like this:
the omniscient narrator is not necessarily the viewpoint of the author. It's the view point of an all knowing narrator who is brought on board by the author to relate or to render the events of the story. - Write Away by Elizabeth George
She goes on to say that because of this, the omniscient narrator must posses their own voice, tone and attitude. Basically, they become a character all their own.
Which brings us to my favorite example of this POV, Lemony Snickett the narrator from A Series of Unfortunate Events.
In A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony is a member of a secret organization who is cloaked in shadow and is busy investigating the orphaned main characters of the series for ambiguous reasons. He tells us all of these events have already happened and makes sure we know that nothing in the stories can be changed. (This is to heighten our grief as we see how bad things get for the kids.)
What's interesting about him is that he follows the rules for the omniscient narrator to a t.
He has his own personality. He has flaws. He has strengths. He has situations where he needs help from others. He even has his own backstory. And he hints about all of these things throughout the series using his omniscience to add it in during the Baudelaire's tale. In fact, his own story is just as depressing as the children's.
But that's not all.
Because, though Lemony seems limited when he mentions his own trials, we see that he also has complete power over the orphan's story. He sees their thoughts. He knows about secret moments that only they are witnesses to. And he writes all of this down.
Now he claims he found all of this out through research, but let's face it, who could have been taking notes of all of those things. This bit of information is just something the author uses to make Lemony the character more real to us readers.
So while he is a character, he is basically an all seeing one that manages to tell us the story of the Baudelaires perfectly as it happened. In one instance he even uses this all seeing power to hide some information, claiming that the children get so little privacy that he feels bad about sharing their more intimate moments.
You see, if you want to write in this POV you have to establish who your narrator is, why they are the ones telling the story, and give them their own personality.
If you want to know more about this POV I recommend you check out the series. (Just know it will depress you). And if you have any recommendations for this POV I'd love to add them to my TBR list. :)
Until next time.