The Next Level
Posted June 17, 2013on:
Last week, my crit group discussed deep POV (point of view) at length, trying to grasp exactly what it is. I like this explanation from Christi Award finalist Katie Ganshert, who writes that “Deep point of view allows the reader to feel and experience exactly what our characters feel and experience. Authors who do deep point of view well often create stories that are highly engaging – where the characters come to life and the reader gets lost in the pages. Once we get the hang of it, deep point of view takes our writing to the next level.”
Jill Nelson, author of Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, says that in deep POV, “The narrative should read like the thoughts going through the character’s mind but without the need to italicize as in direct thought quotations. …Deep POV keeps the story anchored in the now.” The good news, according to Ms. Nelson, is that “Deep POV will eliminate most, if not all, problems with show/don’t tell.”
A Writers Village blogger, Vivian Roycroft, suggests three ways to deepen POV:
1. Use the main character’s name sparingly.
2. Avoid tagging emotions and sensations.
3. Find and show your character’s voice.
One of our group members discovered a great article on Storylineblog.com by Donald Miller, who says that “Instead of adjectives, great writers often use verbs. Their characters do, and they are always doing. …[Frank McCourt] captivates his audience with action. If people are moving and doing, it’s hard to look away.”
Although she was speaking about poetry, local Boise poet Megan Williams recently said a line I think speaks to deep POV: “You want someone to express the reality of the moment in a way that makes you feel something, as opposed to just telling you, ‘It’s important,’ which is boring.”
(Idaho Statesman Treasure Magazine)
I think all writers prefer to rivet rather than bore their readers. Let’s captivate our audiences with lifelike characters who move and do and stir emotions.