Plunging the Depths of Deep POV –– Part III

from Flickr

from Flickr

It’s all the rage with publishers and writers these days.

Why do publishers want you to write in Deep POV? The reader gets into the head of the viewpoint character in a rewarding and intimate way with Deep POV. Click to Tweet #amwriting #DeepPOV

It used to be that most POVs were acceptable, as long as they were consistent. That’s changed with the advent of Deep POV.

Deep POV quoteContinuing where we left off last week, here are a few more tips to help you write your viewpoint character in Deep POV. We talked about getting into character last week. In Deep POV, we are in their heads, seeing the world through the character’s eyes, ears, smell, taste, and touch. Intuition is also part of our makeup. You know, those things you don’t know how you know. The impressions you get.

  1. The character only sees what you would see. So if your viewpoint character can’t see herself, how do you describe your character to the reader? Should she look in a mirror? That’s one way. But the best way is to have the character think only about the things they generally don’t like about themselves as a way of getting into their heads.
  2. The character only thinks what you would think. But you can’t really hear your friend thinking his thoughts. Neither should your character. They can speculate on what their friend is thinking, but they can’t know for certain unless they have experience with that character speaking out that opinion.Example: suppose two siblings are members of opposite political parties. They each would know how the other would think about certain issues and candidates. Because of their lifelong relationship with each other, they would know that.
  3. The character only notices what you would notice. Do you notice the color of your hair on an average day? Do you tell yourself in your head that Lisa is your sister? I do sometimes notice my hair color because I finally like it. I didn’t when I was a kid. Unless the character is self-conscious about a physical trait, they’re not going to notice. In a mirror, they may notice if their hair is out of place, but usually only in that context. I don’t usually notice my brown eyes. I may notice, when I look in the mirror, the smile lines beginning to form next to my mouth.
  4. Always let the reader know whose POV you’re in. You should clue the reader in about which character’s point of view the scene will be in as soon as you can. Preferably within the first three sentences. The reader doesn’t want to have to guess whose POV you’re in. If I have to wait for several sentences, or a paragraph or two in order to find out whose head I’m in, that delay breaks through the fictional wall, and takes me out of the story world, because I’m having to consciously think about it.

In Deep POV, it’s almost like writing first person, only you’re in third person, limited knowledge. Click to Tweet #amwriting #DeepPOV

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