Where have you been all my life? I recently asked myself this very question when I came across something I hadn’t realized had been in existence for about 40 years. I’m an English major and with all we learned, I had never heard this term: Deep POV. I even thought I might have been the only one until a couple days ago. Another author asked me what is Deep POV? My twitter response: 1st person POV + 3rd person limited omniscience = baby (Deep POV). I know this sounds weird, but I promise to make you understand as easily as possible.
Last spring I took a senior seminar class with Allen Weir. He taught us four points of view (POV): 1st person, objective, limited omniscience and omniscience. Every book you have ever read using “I” or “we” is in 1st person POV. Objective, limited omniscience and omniscience are typically told in 3rd person (“he,” “she,” or “it”). With objective everything is told from an outside view. Kind of like the way we would describe people we watch through a one-way mirror. Limited omniscience tells the story from the view of one or two characters. Omniscience tells the story from every character you meet (two or more).
What then is Deep POV? Jill Elizabeth Nelson described it as remaining “firmly inside the POVC’s (point of view character’s) head, nothing in a scene can be presented for reader consideration that is outside that character’s head.” Is your mind blown? Mine was and still it made so much sense. Deep POV takes away all the telling and forces an author to show. Take for example the following two sentences. Which do you think is Deep POV?
1. He had to think hard about what to do next.
2. What should he do next?
If you guessed #2, you’re right. A lot more happens in Deep POV. Since I can’t cover it all, I’ll give you a couple more examples. In Jill’s book she includes a worksheet. I’m going to take one sentence from there and change it to Deep POV and I’ll take one from my own current project - Destroyed.
1. (Jill’s WS) Shallow: He wondered whether she would show up for his birthday party. Deep: Would she even bother to show up for his birthday party?
2. (Destroyed) Shallow: He stared at Gervasio and wondered when they finished how much of his family would remain intact. Deep: He stared at Gervasio. What would be left of his family when everything was said and done?
Hopefully by now you get the general idea. If you’re a new author or trying to break into the business, Deep POV is what readers want. Challenge yourself and find all of those telling words and throw them out the window. Make your book strong. For more information check out Jill’s book Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View on Kindle for $3.99.
About Krys Fenner
Krys Fenner was born and raised in Florida. All her life, she has been a bit of an outsider, even in her own family. In 2010, she moved to Tennessee where she knew no one and had no familial support. Despite the distance, she is now closer to her family than she ever has been before. With encouragement from one another, she and her younger sister both returned to school. Krys is currently working on her Bachelor's degree and plans to continue on to Graduate school. Although school has come a bit later in life, Krys hopes to use her experiences to make a difference in the world.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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