Plunging the Depths of Deep POV –– Part VI

from Flickr

from Flickr

We’re continue to delve into depths of our subject. Deep POV is all about creating an immediacy with the reader. Click to Tweet #amwriting #DeepPOV

Most of us learn visually or by example. This whole lesson will be filled with examples to learn how to create that propinquity in writing that will make our writing sparkle and shine.

Maintain Correct Cause and Effect Order

To write with immediacy, we must write linear. Things play out in front of us, as they happen. We need to ensure that the cause of something happens before we write about the effect. Watch for words such as “while,” “as,” or “when.”

We can’t do two things at once. I’ve been guilty of writing that way and have been corrected on it.

Examples

As the shot pierced the air, Sally covered her ears.

She blushed as she realized her slip was showing.

While walking down the hall to meet with the boss, his throat tightened in anticipation of being fired.

When I saw the basketball flying through the air toward me, I lifted my hands to catch it.

Fixes

The shot pierced the air. Sally covered her ears.

She realized her slip was showing. She blushed.

In the next example, because two things are happening, and it takes time for the basketball to reach me, I could get away with this. We can only read one thing at a time though. But I’m going to show you another way.

The basketball flew toward me, I raised my hands to catch it.

Photo from FlickrAvoid Words That Denote Time

Words like suddenly, immediately, before, after. These words are “telling” words, so if we can find a way to get rid of them, we’ll have improved our show v. tell challenges. The problem with using the words before and after is the same.

Example

The President shook Joe’s hand before giving him the award for valor.

This adds narrative distance. As we experience life, we don’t think about something happening before or after something else, do we?

Fix

The President shook Joe’s hand and gave him the award for valor. OR you could say: The President handed Joe his award and gave him a handshake.

The word “immediately” usually isn’t necessary. Using it “tells” the reader what is happening, rather than showing it.

Example

He set the gun down on the table, and I immediately grabbed it.

Fix

He set the gun down on the table, and I grabbed it.

We’ll continue our study of Deep POV next week. Is this helping? Leave a comment and let me know. By writing in Deep POV, we create a “real time” feeling in our fiction. Click to Tweet #amwriting #DeepPOV

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