Omniscient

900 300 Writer and the Wolf Editorial
Home / Glossary terms / Omniscient

Omniscience (noun): a full and complete knowledge concerning all the events of a narrative, and the private motives, thoughts, etc., of all the characters. OED

***

Omniscient is one of several POV choices you can make when writing a story. An omniscient narrator has complete access to all characters’ actions, dialogue and inner thoughts, so readers aren’t viewing the action through the eyes of one character as in first or third person narration. Your narrator is like a god, seeing everyone and everything.

It’s a difficult approach to pull off and it’s not hugely common in middle grade as children typically prefer to be immersed in the life and thoughts of one character. That said, it can work beautifully and there are lots of middle grade novels that handle it masterfully – From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a great example.

More information about this term:

Third person omniscient narration examples – Masterclass
Authorial voice and third person – kidlit
25 third person omniscient books to expand your POV – Book Riot
Third-Person Limited: Analyzing Fiction’s Most Flexible Point of View – Writer’s Digest


Thanks so much for reading, lovely writer! Want empowering, feel-good writing chat and fairy dust in your inbox? Plus receive a PDF of my recommended writing craft books for children’s and YA writers (including go-to genre guides and Children’s Lit MA reading list) AND £20 Wolf Credit to spend with me! Sign up today!

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes