If I’m in 3rd person limited omniscient, I was told that I can switch the 3rd person LO, but I can’t do it within the same scene. I understand that. However, my question is whether I can switch to objective omniscient (“fly on the wall”) for a scene provided that I do not break the rule of writing within the view of any one person? I did that, and I got negative feedback from the beta reader because I switched to omniscient POV for a scene that didn’t include my protagonist or any other 3rd person LO. But in my mind, it’s not true omniscient since I didn’t write from any one perspective necessarily; it was all dialogue, actions, and gestures. What do you all think?
(I’m a little confused because I believe limited and omniscient are opposites – I think I get the gist, but I might say something here that doesn’t make sense)
It is generally considered bad taste to switch POVs, so it doesn’t surprise me that your beta reader flagged it. However, there ARE exceptions where it can be done well if done intentionally. My first suggestion would be to make sure you’re shifting POV for a good reason – something that adds to the theme or the reader experience, not just because it may be easier to write.
If you are confident in the purpose of your POV shift, the negative feedback from your beta reader does not automatically mean you have to cut it. However, it does mean you might not be “pulling it off” yet. Are there edits you can make to reinforce the point of the shift and clue the reader in that its intentional?
Finally, it’s good to get multiple opinions. See if other beta readers flag the change, too. If you do edits and people still aren’t getting it, it may be best after all to find a way to write the scene in the prevailing POV style. It’s just easier to keep readers on board.