Saturday, March 29, 2008

Deep POV - Part I - Guest Post

Jennifer Hudson Taylor's Blog on writing caught my eye, and I asked her if I could share a little from her entries. Since I'v been blogging on POV, adding thoughts on Deep POV seems to be appropriate. Jennifer is a new link I've added to the blog's links so you may want to check it out.

Although the technique of deep POV refers to point of view, the focus tends to be on emotion and three-dimensional characterization because it takes you into the internal workings of a character's heart and mind.

Although some of this is a repeat of things I said previously, you will hopefully find a few new ideas and Jennfer's take on the Deep POV technique. Here are her thoughts:

What is Deep POV?
Deep POV is telling a story in such a way that the reader's emotions are engaged in the character's thoughts and perspective. The reader essentially sees, hears, speaks, tastes, and feels what the character experiences. The character is real to the reader. And the reader cares about the character. The reader becomes part of the story and connects to the character.

E. Why Use Deep POV?
Using deep POV allows the reader to experience the story, instead having someone tell them the story. It ties emotion to action and reactions, and connects the current action to what the character is thinking. In deep POV, a character doesn't hide secrets from himself.

Choosing the POV Character

A. Always Begin in the Main Character's POV
Readers usually identify with the first character as the main character. If you don't do this, readers feel disconnected from your characters and have a harder time feeling engaged in the story. They may feel lost and confused. If they get too frustrated, they won't finish your book, recommend your book, or read future books you’ve written.

B. Using Multiple POVs
You can write in more than one POV, but never head-hop. Set a section break before switching POV characters. A general rule is to keep your POV characters to no more than 4-5 different characters throughout the whole book. Make sure your main character has the most POV scenes.

C. Choose the Character with the Most Risk
When you sit down to write a new scene, consider your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflict (GMC). Decide who in the scene will have the most risk. This is whose POV you should use in this particular scene.

D. Remember Your Readership
Choose a character your target audience will best understand. For instance, if you are targeting a junior audience, your main character wouldn't be a 40-year-old male. You would probably choose a 12-year-old.

E. Using Secondary Characters
There are limited times you might want to write a scene in a secondary character's POV. It could be to reveal the villain's goal or motive, or when a secondary character is playing a pivotal role in the story.***

***A comment from me: Unless a character has a significant role, such as a villain who is a large part of the story with scenes of his/her own, POV is not used by these characters. Stories sometimes have multiple main characters, and then it is appropriate to be in their POV for their scenes, especially when not with another main character. Normally a true secondary character's POV is not used. Remember, too many POV characters can weaken the main story and draw from readers' pleasure as
they get to know the focus characters.
More on Deep POV to come.

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