Monday, June 9, 2014

Utilizing DEEP POV

Deep POV isn't for everyone. 

Applied incorrectly IT can create a stream-of-consciousness that will quickly overwhelm the reader. 

I'd like to suggest that once you fully understand your character (absolutely vital to your success) Deep POV is something to learn slowly and methodically.

Consider this: Your book's finished and you’re now in full edit-revision mode.
You notice several scenes that fall short. What do you do?

Why not add an emotional depth to those parts without applying Deep POV to the entire manuscript? 

Example:  Your antagonist waits aboard his yacht. He's just discovered that one of his men allowed a witness to flee, and now he could face the death penalty. 

Here’s the scene in each POV:

1st:  When John returned, he found me sitting on the white leather bench. I had my eyes half-closed, my arms crossed, and I was feeling great sadness. "Well?" I asked, but I was thinking, 'Give me a reason not to kill you.' 

3rd: Matthew sat on the white leather bench and lowered his eyes. Consumed by a great sadness, he crossed his arms and waited. When John returned, he asked him, "How long have you worked for me?"

Omni: When John returned, he found his boss sitting on the white leather bench with his eyes half-closed and his arms crossed. He chose not to look at John, he was that angry. "Tell me I didn't make a mistake bringing you," he said. John couldn't think and stuttered...

Clearly, a deeper sense of intimacy is missing.

Switch to DEEP POV, and …

The bench reeked of new leather smell and left a bad taste on his tongue.  A glimpse east and the sun's glare shot pain through his temple. Closing his eyes helped, but the trembling continued. Blood pounded through crossed arms. 

This was John's fault. No respect. No gratitude. Hadn't he and his daughter been taken care of all these years? Ruby held a secure job at the Baja Hotel for the rest of her life if she wanted. John threatened that. Could his stupidity be forgiven without costing the organization everything? 

A touch of the gun hidden beneath crossed arms and the chill felt shocking at first, then comforting. 


DEEP POV is a scene written through total perception; no tags, no filtered conclusions, just straight cerebral experience between protagonist and reader. There are no subordinate clauses. As he did something, something or someone else verbed. Emphasis is never taken off the protagonist. Hence, pronouns are kept to a minimum. 

The protagonist is in the very centre of the scene with everything happening outward. Nothing points back to him. We don't see the protagonist outside himself.

It's never in the morning; it's this morning. 

It's never then, it's now. 

There is no author, no character aware of being in a story.

There are no he thoughts.  

If Deep POV sounds appealing, try writing the scene as 1st POV, then switch to 3rd. Drop as many verbs as possible, (saw, thought, looked, etc) eliminate the tags: said, asked (no need to show the reader what they already know). Do this, and I promise it'll rejuvenate you and your story.  

Happy Editing, 
--
cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca


37 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some of my current manuscript is actually written like that. It's third person but from just one point of view, so delving deep really works in some scenes.

Pat Hatt said...

Going deeper sure does help shed some new light, if done the right way as you say

Christopher Mannino said...

Nice post. Here's another blog post that also goes into deep POV - it's always a subject to consider. http://www.martinisandmanuscripts.com/deeppov/

kaykuala said...

Truly said. Deep POV makes the scene 'now' and alive.The reader is kept on his toes together following with the story. Thanks for sharing!

Hank

Matthew Peters said...

Thanks for the insightful post. This is a great reminder. There are several places in my new manuscript that could benefit from deep POV.

Christine Rains said...

Excellent post. I do love deep POV, but it's something I'm still working on.

Mary-Jean Harris said...

Thanks, I'll definitely try this out. I haven't thought about the difference between deep and "not deep" POV, though I do use both without knowing it already.

Suzanne de Montigny said...

Really good advice.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a great mini lesson. Comes at a perfect time as I do some scene editing on my WIP.

cleemckenzie said...

I'd never called it deep pov, but that's perfect. My name has always been immediate pov. Guess I'll switch. Thanks.

Joe Douglas Trent said...

Read Stephen King to see how he writes in "waves" of POV depth, from detached to deep to give you that punch at the right time.

klahanie said...

Hey Joylene,

Acronym alert! Okay, I worked out what you meant. We have to remember that not everybody who visits IWSG is writer, insecure or otherwise.

Deep POV certainly adds an extra dimension. I now will go and think about this.

Thank you, Joylene.

Gary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Alex, I like stories that are written that way. I feel it's easier to jump right in and live it.

@So true, Pat. Like anything else, it takes practise.

@Christophe, thanks for the link. Her example was adorable. She ended up with an appealing protagonist. Hope she got her man.

@Kaykuala, thank you for stopping by.

@Matthew, me too. I have to remember to practise what I preach. Thanks for stopping by.

@Christine, glad to hear that. Keep prodding along and I bet you'll love the results.

@Mary-Jean, good to hear. Your instincts are working for you.

@Suzanne, thanks!

@Susan, awesome!

@Lee, it's a tag somebody added several years ago. Which is good because it makes for an easier search if you're interested in hearing more.

@Joe, I love King. He's a great teacher.


Gina Stoneheart said...

Great thoughts here, Alex. I'm rereading my manuscript as we speak and trying to tighten up certain scenes by diving deeper into my characters' heads. I find it difficult sometimes to know when it is necessary and not but your post has helped to shed a bit more light.

Kelly Steel said...

Great lesson...I struggle with Deep POV and showing vs Telling.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Deep POV places the protagonist - and us - there in the moment. Your examples are great.

J.L. Campbell said...

Excellent article, Joylene. Since I learned about deep POV, I don't write any other way.

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm a big fan of deep POV. That's my preferred reading and writing style.

Carol Garvin said...

It was you who clarified Deep POV for me in an earlier ms of mine, and now this is a great reminder. Thanks! :)

Karen Lange said...

Great stuff, Joylene! I appreciate your examples and insight. The right POV can make or break a book for me. Have abandoned a few that handled it poorly. Something to think about as I work on the WIP. Thanks so much.

Michelle Wallace said...

Really effective! It grabs you and sucks you right in...
...and now it has a name - deep POV.
Thanks for the clarification, Joylene.

joylene said...

@Gina, glad to hear that. And congrats on your award.

@Kelly, it takes everyone time to grasp POV. You will with practise.

@Diane, thanks. I always hate my examples. They never come easy.

@Joy, Good to hear.

@Sara, me too! Most of the time.

@Carol, you're very welcome. Thanks for following me over here.

@Karen, you're so welcome.

@Michelle, I can't take credit for the name. But I agree that knowing the name makes finding more about it on the internet invaluable. Glad it helped.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You're right, Gary. No where do I explain that POV is point of view. Thanks, buddy.

Karla Gomez said...

love it. It's amazing how POVs are able to entice and bring the readers closer in their own ways. I think also that depending on the story, one might work better than another. But the deepness should really be an integral part of every story.

Patricia Lynne said...

I have a book on deep POV that was a great read. It left me with lots to think about and I learned quite a bit to improve my writing.

Rebecca A. Emrich said...

Great work here, I'll try this out with my own writing. I think it's time for a change.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Karla, that's so true. The story dictates the POV.

@Patricia, those "good" books are worth every penny.

@Rebecca, that's awesome. Hope you'll let us know how it pans out.

Shell Flower said...

I recognize the flow of deep POV from a lot of popular fiction, though I have never heard this term. It definitely does take the reader closer to the action.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. not being a writer I've struggled with anacronyms - but am learning! Interesting about Deep POV ... trying to alter up things is always difficult to do without fudging other bits - so this does makes sense ..

Cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Shell, I agree. Deep POV is a nice way to connect with the protagonist.

@Hi Hilary. thanks for visiting. Hope you're having a lovely day.

Suzanne Furness said...

It's amazing what using this technique can bring to the intimacy of a piece. Really interesting post, thanks you.

Batman said...

This is even more important when screenwriting, as the form is even more restrictive.

Tara Tyler R said...

what a cool article - you wrote it like an intense thriller! daring us to try this daunting POV as if it might be too dangerous! love it! and i've been deciding on a pov for one of my lurking novels, this might have to be it!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

@Suzanne, thanks for coming by.

@Batman, thanks for visiting.

@Tara, so glad you hear it caught your interest.

Shah Wharton said...

Superbe post. Bookmarked! Thanks Joylene X

shahwharton.com

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thanks, Shah. And thanks for the links.

Lexa Cain said...

I'd never heard of "Deep POV." But as I read, I realized I know it under another name. I always call it third-person limited (or third-person close, limited) POV, and I write all my novels in it. This was a very interesting post - and now I know what "Deep POV" is! Thanks! :)