Going Deep...Deep POV, That Is (Penny Rader)

The first part of my series on POV covered the basics of Point of View. If you missed it, you can find it here. Today we'll explore Deep POV using links and snippets of articles I found online.

Deep Point of View (Camy Tang)

Camy has an excellent eleven-part series on Deep POV. Don’t panic. Each part is short and easy to digest. You can find links to the next part at the end of each article. Here are short bits from the first three:

Part One

It’s not that it’s wrong to name the emotion—in fact, sometimes it makes the sentence more powerful—but many times, when you rewrite the sentence without naming the emotion, the vision evoked in the reader’s mind is more emotionally impactful.

Part Two

“Telling” verbs tend to distance the reader from the character, and if you’re striving to stick the reader in the character’s skin, you want to be judicious with your words and ensure a tight point of view.

Part Three
Show immediate emotional reactions in physical, thought, dialogue, action.

Deep Point of View (Karen Kelley)

Picture this: You’re not writing about the character, you’ve now become the character. Say your heroine is running down a dark hallway, she knows a serial killer is after her. Instead of moving her down the hallway become your heroine. What do you see? Close your eyes for a moment and visualize it. Do you see the hallway? What are you feeling? Fear? Yes, but describe it. Is your heart pounding? Are you sweating? What emotions are going through you? As the heroine, what will you leave behind if the killer catches you?

When using deep penetration POV you see the scene through the character's eyes. You never leave his/her thoughts. Deep penetration is similar to first person giving the motivation behind an action. The character's attitude, at that moment is shown, not a memory of his/her feelings as they look back on what happened.

Deep POV (Wendy Marcus)

Deep POV … takes you deep inside your character, showing not only what he feels in response to a situation, but why he feels that way. It adds a depth of emotion to a scene. In order to achieve deep POV a writer must dig deep into their characters' personalities and motivations.

Deep POV, Anybody? (Joylene Nowell Butler)

Choosing the right point of view is like learning to ride a bicycle; once you learn, you never forget. Too many good writers struggle over POV because they make it more complicated than it needs to be. In simplest terms, it’s about first learning what choices you have, then trusting your instincts in choosing the right one for your story. Deep POV is just one more choice.

Deep POV Is Not Right for Every Story (Alicia Rasley)

Deep POV is a variety of single POV, where an entire scene (or chapter, or book) is told through the perspective (or point of view) of one of the characters in the scene. Deep POV takes this further—the narration is done not just in the perspective but in the voice of the POV character. It’s meant to establish almost no distance between the narrator and the reader—rather like a first-person feel with third-person pronouns.

…you shouldn’t feel you have to force yourself to write deep POV if every word feels wrong.

Deep POV Means (Angi Morgan)

People think in specifics. Letting characters think in specifics brings us closer to that character and WHY they’re thinking what they’re thinking at that exact moment. When you’re deep in a character’s POV, that character doesn’t keep secrets from himself (a Suzanne Brockmann tip).

Digging Deep and Writing Backstory, While Keeping Up the Pace (Karin Harlow)

When writing in your character’s deep POV, you have to dig into their past. To the events that shaped them, the things that angered them, made them love, made them hate and made them smile. As their storyteller, you have to be them, and convey their thoughts, actions and most importantly, their emotions to the page.

The Importance of Emotional Depth: Part 4 – Deep Point of View (Lisa Chaplin)

Deep POV is an art, because it's putting yourself so totally into the character you basically don't appear (and by this, I mean what is commonly known as "author intrusion"); it's all the character. What also disappears in deep POV to a great extent is "tags"—the "he said, she thought/ pondered/ wondered" that jerk readers out of the character's head, reminding them that they are not the hero or heroine—and that's what we, as writers, don't want!

Note from Penny: I highly recommend Lisa’s entire series of articles on Emotional Depth. http://www.melissajames.net/Article_Main.htm

Some Deep Point of View Tips (Camy Tang)

Readers don’t fully feel the emotion when they simply read the words anxiety, anger, fear, etc.They feel the emotion when they’re in the character’s body and head, feeling the physical sensations, acting with the character, thinking their thoughts, speaking their words.
What are your feelings about Deep POV?


Mona Risk said...

Wow I love reading how good authors describe the deep POV. Thank you for a great post. When I write a scene I become the heroine. I feel, suffer or laugh with her. Don't try to talk to me when I write I won't even hear you!!!

Penny Rader said...

LOL, Mona. I used to tell my kids that if they were talking to me when I was writing to make sure that I was actually looking at them and able to repeat back what they said. :D Thanks for dropping by!

Cheryl Pierson said...


As always, a wonderful informative post! I love it! In teaching writing classes, deep POV is one of the very hardest things to explain to students. Then finally the light bulb clicks on! Once you do it, it doesn't seem that hard, but everyone seems afraid of trying it for some reason--then there are others who do it and don't even realize they are doing it. LOL

I have always written in deep POV because it just comes naturally for me when the time is at hand. Thank GOD! LOL Like you and Mona, I would become so engrossed in my characters sometimes I wouldn't even know what was happening around me. My kids ate a LOT of PB&J growing up. LOL


Penny Rader said...

Too funny, Cheryl. I remember being thrilled once my kids were old enough to take their own baths and wash their own hair. When they learned how to make sandwiches...bonus! ;D

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Penny, what good hints and helps. I totally get what deep POT is..but whether or not I do it well LOL is the question.

I love the post. oxoxxo

Debra St. John said...

Great post. Putting yourself into the character's shoes is a gerat tip.

Penny Rader said...

Hi Tanya! Not sure I do it well, but I am trying to do it better. :D

Thanks for oxoxxo's. On the way home from work I passed a sign that said, "If you need kisses, stop by and see Jessie" or something to that effect. I'll have to look a little closer next time. :D I can't help but wonder how many kisses Jessie has had to give away. ;D

Penny Rader said...

Hi Debra! I totally agree. Do you ever have trouble making sure you're seeing through your character's eyes and not your own?

Joanna Aislinn said...

Another excellent compilation. How do you find the time?

Joanna Aislinn
Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
The Wild Rose Press

P.L. Parker said...

Great insight - extremely helpful. Thanks

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Joanna! I love to learn new things (and procrastinate!) by playing on the computer. ;D There's so much wonderful information out there and I learn best when I can find examples. And I like to share -- my way of paying forward all the help I've received over the years. :D Thanks for visiting us.

Penny Rader said...

So glad you found the links helpful, Patsy. It's good to "see" you. :D

Starla Kaye said...

This is one of the best posts ever on our blog. Thanks so much, Penny.

I try to write this way, but it is difficult to tell sometimes if I've managed it. My editor, however, lets me know when I've missed it...then I fix it.