Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Writers Tips - Deep Point of View

I read the book and I took the workshop. I still need to study this technique as there's a lot involved, things to unlearn. I also think that the deep point of view, as it is presented in this book, might be a little too deep for the tender romance genre I write. But as with any writing advice, take what you can use now and shelve the rest to refer to later.

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. (I have the Kindle version on my iPod Touch)

Today I'm going to focus on Chapter Three: Never Say He Thought/She Thought. This is where I have trouble and I'd like to work on it.

In Deep POV [Point of View], you will not need to write he thought/she thought. The same goes for he felt/she felt... he knew/she knew...  wondered... realized... speculated... decided... wished... etc. These phrases are death to Deep POV, because they create narrative distance. Readers are now at arm's length from the character, not in the POVC's [Point of View Character's] head where they belong. 

A narrator is required in order to say that a character "knew" something or "felt" something or "wondered" something. Inside ourselves, we rarely preface or follow our thought with those kinds of words. We simply think what we think without saying to ourselves that we "thought" it or "wondered" it or "knew " it. If we are inside a certain character's psyche, why would we need to say he thought/knew/realized/felt something, etc., when we can proceed directly to whatever it was that the character thought?

There are a lot of examples of Shallow POV vs. DPOV. Here is just one sample:
Shallow POV: He thought a good bath wouldn't hurt the dog.
Deep POV: Whew! A good bath would do this dog a world of good. 

Besides all the before and examples, there are before and after exercises at the end of each chapter so that you can practice changing a shallow POV sentence to DPOV. Here's one you can try yourself.
Shallow: He wondered whether she would show up for his birthday party.
DPOV: _________________________________________________

This book definitely has a lot to offer with chapters covering Point of View Basics, Deep POV Is/Deep POV Isn't, Name that Feeling-Not!, and more.

More books from my writers craft bookshelf.


  1. Deep POV definitely appears to be a trend right now. Personally, I'm not a big fan. I like a narrator POV third, but my publisher prefers deep, so I've had to adapt.

    Deep does seem to work good for romance, but I can't say the same for other genres. I know deep is meant to keep the reader from being thrown out of the story, but often it has the opposite effect on me. I know I'm probably in the minority but I still love narrator third POV the best! :)

  2. Good points. I don't think I could totally get away from narrator POV. Some DPOV I've read is too graphic for my genre. In one book the hero's heart went "through a meat slicer"! And that was in an otherwise gentle story.
    I plan to find a happy medium that works with my style/voice and reads smoothly.