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The third-person-intimate point of view is limited to the main character’s perspective, similar to first-person but using he or she instead of I. References to all characters use a name, a title, or one of the pronouns he, she, him, her, his, and hers.

A ship’s captain, facing disaster on the open seas, might describe his plight this way:

As the wave crashed over the railing, he locked his arms around the mast post and cried for his men to hang on.

  • Know Your Limits.

When writing in third-person intimate, think of your character holding a video camera. He can describe only what is important to him at that moment, only what can be recorded on the current frame of the camera. You can describe what your main character is thinking, but you can’t get into the head of anybody else.

  1. A man wearing jeans and a t-shirt got out of a BMW convertible and walked toward her. (When thirty feet away, how does she know he’s wearing jeans before he gets out of the BMW?)
  2. He read until he was unable to hold back the tug of a restful sleep keep his eyes open. (In his point of view, he can’t know it will be a restful sleep until after he awakens.)
  3. Just minutes before they They were about to be shoved into the dumpster when headlights headed straight toward them. (When something hasn’t happened yet, we can’t know when it will happen.)
  4. His hand He slipped his hand into the wet sand and his fingers grasped a diamond ring. (In his point of view, he wouldn’t observe his and fingers take action. He would do the action, so this wording gives his hand and fingers a mind of their own.)