It is a third person narrator that changes the character he is "following" from chapter to chapter, or even in the same chapter (just like a limited POV, such as Mistborn or Game of Thrones)

Here are the circumstances:

  • It is a post-apocaliptic book with multiple characters in the same survival clan
  • The narrator "talks" to these characters. So he is "like" a character too.
  • The narrator cannot know what is inside the character's mind unless the character decides to share his thoughts with him (but that character can lie). That's why the narrator is "limited." Depending on how much the character shares his thougts with him, the narrator may use the indirect speech technique.
  • The narrator is trustworthy, but the characters may not be.
  • He does not give his opinion, so the reader can have his own conclusions without the narrator's voice. (But I also have a doubt about this. Can he have a voice without misleading the reader?)
  • I Still dont know who the narrator is (I'm thinking about Death, Spirit or Ghost, but I have my doubts.)

If you want read, here are the reasons I do this:

I do this way in order to make the reader compare the characters and think what is happening inside their heads and their motivations. I will also show informations that many (if not all) characters will not know but the reader does. This will create tension to see how the characters will react to the problem while the reader does not know their interests and motivations. Everything can happen. Because of that mystery behind them, all characters are the chameleon archetype. It's a test of confidence and personality for the reader so he can dive in the story. The reader and the characters will share these same thougts: "can I trust him/her? What she/he is going to do about that? Will the characters work togheter or they will die because of strive for power inside the clan? Will the environment consume the clan or they will survive it?"

What are the pros and cons of these technical features for the narrator? How the relationship of the reader x characters could be affected?

2 Answers 2


From what I can gather, it sounds more like you're trying to achieve a first person POV with a character who has omniscient 'powers' and not so much of an omniscient narrator who dives into one/multiple characters mind or a limited narrator who stays with a single character and their thoughts. Also, I think the concept of using Death or other paranormal entities as a POV character which follows and speaks with other characters is super cool :D

I can't think of any stories off-hand that employ a similar technique, but this article might shed some light on the pros and cons of the various POVs at your disposal - http://thewritepractice.com/point-of-view-guide/

Hope this helps.

  • How could the relationship between reader and characters be affected?
    – Hanilucas
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 22:49
  • 1
    I would say that comes down to execution, much of what you mentioned in your reasonings are things you should strive for regardless of your POV (unless you're looking to have the reader more informed than the character narrating) In terms of turning-off/pulling-in readers, I don't see any cons to the concept itself, but I would say it comes down to how you actually write the POV centered from this 'Death' character. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 0:33

What you've got planned sounds like a character who narrates, and is in all scenes, rather than an Omniscient narrator. If so, then yes, it is doable. That character shows up with that ability when allowed.

I can't see it being a problem to read. And I'm an ex Sr. QA Engineer and now author, writing coach who's seen many an idea for unique POV use tries. Great luck with it.

  • Can you explain that more? Why is it doable? "the character shows up with that ability when allowed" which ability? And how could the relationship between reader and characters be affected?
    – Hanilucas
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 22:47

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