The Perils of Omniscient Narration

Discovering halfway through a short story that your omniscient narrator has problems taking your heroine completely seriously is certainly a new writing challenge. On the other hand, she is ever so slightly hysterical.

Of course, I probably shouldn’t write omniscient at all, considering that omniscient point of view is considered old-fashioned and has been out of favour for decades now and is a hard sell, at least in traditional publishing.

To quote my former German teacher, a committed Socialist: “God is dead and therefore you cannot tell stories from a God’s eye point of view anymore.” Yes, that’s really what he said, when he introduced the different forms of narration in tenth grade. Of course, that teacher also chose to believe that the Three Musketeers were fascist, because “One for all and all for one” was a fascist motto in his view. Trying to argue him out of it was futile as well. Indeed, that man is my number one teaching role model – as the sort of teacher I never want to be.

Besides, stories usually demand a certain point of view, at least in my experience. At any rate, I never consciously choose whether to write in first person or third person limited point of view – it just happens. And this story demanded to be told in omniscient point of view, probably because you need to create some kind of distance from the somewhat hysterical protagonist.

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