I just learned that my novel is written in third person, past tense. It's the most popular form for stories, originating with novels of the 19th century.
Max Hollyoak stood at the edge of the frozen lake, staring at a brown leaf on the silver surface.
This is the opening sentence of my novel.
I'm sure lots of writers already know this, but for me, it was a revelation. It has always been the voice I've been most comfortable writing in. I knew I didn't want to write in first person:
I stood at the edge of the frozen lake, staring at a brown leaf on the silver surface.
Or second person:
You stand at the edge of the frozen lake, staring at a brown leaf on the silver surface.
The only novel I can think of written in second person is Bright Lights, Big City.
I also read some things about narrative distance, which is the voice of your narrator. My narrator is invisible. You won't read things like: "Now, dear reader, you may be wondering why the Baudelaire orphans were in such a bad spot..." Lemony Snicket.
My main character, Max, is also joined by his two best friends in this novel. Which means I (narrator) will also be seeing through their eyes and reading their thoughts. So I have to be careful that I don't head-hop too much: jumping from different points of view too often. I'm trying to keep the focus on Max so readers will connect with him and have an emotional tie with his experiences. So the title of this post should actually be Third Person, Past Tense, Omniscient Point of View. If I just stayed inside Max's head it would be third person, limited pov.
Are you asleep yet?
Anyway, I've learned a lot in the past year that I've been writing. I'm pretty much self-taught, although I am a professional ad writer by day (groan).
And although I have read and tried to write fiction my whole life, I have never taken any courses on fiction writing except for a small workshop here in Chicago called the Writers' Loft.