第三人称有限公司: An Intimate POV (With Examples)



InSteering the Craft,,,,Ursula Le Guin’s invaluable writing manual, she provides a succinct definition of this limited viewpoint:

Only what the viewpoint character knows, feels, perceives, thinks, guesses, hopes, remembers, etc., can be told. The reader can infer what other people feel and think only from what the viewpoint character observes of their behaviour.


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Third person limited offers access to a character’s inner thoughts and emotions, much the same way that first-person narration does. As a result, it creates a sense of ‘narrative empathy,’ making it easier for readers to imagine themselves in the viewpoint character’s shoes — or as their confidante.

Example:安德的游戏Orson Scott卡


在此示例中,Orson Scott卡的安德的游戏,我们可以窥视主角的思想。从他对他人行为的扣除(“但是恩德知道[...],彼得不会让他一个人呆着”)到恩德想象他受到彼得骚扰的情况,我们就在主角的头上。


Force your readers to engage with the story

Returning to LeGuin’s quote — “[t]he reader can infer what other people feel and think only from what the viewpoint character observes of their behaviour” — we see a big reason why this narrative mode is so popular. Because the limited narrator can only reveal what the viewport character observes, the reader often has to play detective. They have to take these observed details and connect the dots to understand what is happening.

示例:欧内斯特·海明威(Ernest Hemingway)的“像白大象这样的山丘”

有限的观点示例|海明威In this extract, Hemingway doesn’t name his characters. He does, however, let us know how they are feeling: hot and irascible. By mentioning in the same breath that a) it was very hot, and b) the train wouldn’t come for forty minutes, we see that the characters are connecting these two facts. The reader, without even putting on their detective hat, will have deduced the physical discomfort both characters are in: the perfect context for a tense conversation!

Maintain a level of uncertainty and surprise



Example:一把风暴by George R.R. Martin

Limited POV example | Sword of StormsIn this section of一把风暴— which权力的游戏fans will know as “The Red Wedding” — the viewpoint character of Catelyn Stark is thrown for a loop when she and her family are betrayed by their allies. Thanks to this particular viewpoint, the reader shares in her shock, confusion, momentary hope, then despair.

Compared to first-person narrations which usually imply that the narrator survives to tell the tale, third person limited is highly conducive to uncertainty. In Catelyn Stark’s case, her time as a viewpoint character可能be coming to an end, but the reader won’t know that until it actually happens.


所不同的是,有一个关键的条子of distance between the protagonist and narrator, which will change the way the main character is portrayed. Maybe the protagonist has a nasty habit she wouldn’t readily reveal if the narration were left entirely to her. Maybe the narrator can “see” something happening behind the protagonist’s back a moment or two before the character realizes it.

Example:The Lie Tree弗朗西斯·哈丁(Frances Hardinge)

有限的观点示例|The Lie Tree

InThe Lie Tree,我们的主角是一个维多利亚时代的女孩,她很好奇 - 当时还没有成为年轻女性的素质。虽然信仰会承认自己的好奇心就像是一种成瘾,但有限的叙述者可以迈出一步,向读者透露信仰不太可能表达出来,甚至在她自己的脑海中也不会表达出来。


If you’re a writer who’s making use of a third person limited narrator, there are a few pitfalls you should look to avoid — either because they break the reality of your viewpoint or hamper the narrative flow of your story.

Filtering the action

您的叙述者与您的主要角色非常接近(复数,因为您可以使用多个),因此,您可能会发现自己通过他们的意识将所有观察和行动背景下背景。在约翰·加德纳的小说艺术,他称这种为“过滤” - 他强烈建议作家从散文中取出。

The amateur writes: "Turning, she noticed two snakes fighting in among the rocks."


Generally speaking — though no laws are absolute in fiction — vividness urges that almost every occurrence of such phrases as "she noticed" and "she saw" be suppressed in favor of direct presentation.

— John Gardner,小说艺术

与第一人称观点一样,如果有限的叙述者描述了一项动作(“两条蛇正在战斗”),读者已经将认为that the viewpoint character observed this detail. Therefore, any sort of filtering language will be largely unnecessary.

Did we mention head-hopping?




Father Walsh was reluctant to tell her the truth...

在写第三人称限制时,这是不好的形式,因为您的主角无法知道沃尔什神父不愿意 - 除非她是读者,在这种情况下,所有赌注都没有。

You can, however, demonstrate Father Walsh’s reluctance by employing some classicshow, don’t tell行动。您的POV角色可以观察到他避免眼神交流,停止和开始句子,或者用他的袖口烦躁 - 所有的回避手势都暗示不情愿。

当无所不知的叙述者发生时,头跳是不理想的 - 但是POV有限的灾难性灾难性。虽然现代编辑程序将检测到您何时在被动和主动时态之间转移,但当您不小心交换您的观点角色时,他们将无法警告您!因此,当您进行修改手稿时,请注意。




当然,还有一些书籍以多个第三人称叙述者为特色 - 一个受欢迎的例子是乔治·R·R·马丁的冰与火之歌系列。

If you're ready for a 'wider' viewpoint, head on to our next post on Third Person Omniscient. Enjoy!