What is meant by Deep Point of View?
Deep Point of View simply means that everything that happens in a scene where a main character is present is revealed through the eyes, ears. thoughts and emotions of that character. In short, nothing stands between a reader and the character because the reader is actually inside the character’s head and viewing everything from that character’s perspective.
What are some strategies for writing in Deep Point of View?
- Remove nearly all traces of a narrator. If you place an invisible narrator between the reader and the character, you’ve inserted an authorial intrusion and distanced the reader from the character.
- Make sure to only reveal to your readers what your current POV character knows. For example don’t write, “He didn’t notice Mary leave the kitchen.” If your POV character didn’t notice it, then the reader can’t see it, either.
- Leave out words such as: He thought or wondered or saw something.
- Eliminate dialogue tags by replacing them with character action.
Example: Bob peered into the refrigerator. “I see you took the last beer.”
- Don’t write lengthy exposition, backstory, and description. Work it in through the characters thoughts, observations, dialogue and actions. Example: Mary gazed at the cloudless sky. It’s just like my childhood summers in Utah with Grandma.
- Eliminate passive voice. Have your characters do the actions. Make your character the subject of the sentence.
Example: Mary felt the stinging slap not Mary was slapped.
- Don’t name an emotion. Make your character feel it.
Example: Not: She was humiliated. But: Her cheeks burned and she ran from the room holding back sobs.
- Italics are not necessary in Deep POV when a character is simply reporting his thoughts.
Example: He stared at the angry bull and shook his head. It could trample a person to death in ten seconds.
- Don’t have characters notice things they wouldn’t normally care about like brand names or designer labels.
Example: John rode into town after a month on the cattle range. He noticed the pretty girl in the Chanel suit. (Most cowboys wouldn’t notice a Chanel label).
- Leave out prepositional phrases used to clarify an action.
Example: He clenched his teeth and glared at her in anger. (The actions make it clear he was angry. No need to explain to your reader).
Deep Point of view is no mystery. It’s a good POV writing technique, but not the only one. Only use it if it works for you.