Deep POV: Prepositional Telling by jj Keller

Good day! Today I’ll discuss deepening POV and prepositional telling.

What is Point of View (POV)?

Most romance books are written in third person: The third person point of view is a form of storytelling in which a narrator relates all action in third person, using third person pronouns such as “he” or “she.” Third person point of view may be omniscient or limited. Often new writers feel most comfortable with first person, but writing in the third person allows a writer more freedom in how a story is told.

The reader knows what the character knows. Use complete sentences, no hesitations and no repetitions. More of the characters thoughts than actions or perceptions create deeper POV.

I find myself falling into the prepositional telling, which reduces the point of view. You might know what I’m referring too.

            He nodded in agreement.

            Frasier frowned with displeasure.

The child jumped up and hooted with glee.

Her stomach tightened in fear.

Stop prepositional telling and your writing will be so much stronger.

Nodding implies agreement and frowning implies displeasure.

Jumping and hooting (in this context) usually go hand in hand with glee.

A tightened stomach is often suggestive of fear or nerves.

Instead of telling your reader what the character is feeling, rivet them with emotion and visualization. Trust the context you’ve created, logical inferences will naturally be supposed.

As a writer you want to create a scene, build up the emotion without naming that emotion as it will distance the reader and reduce POV.

For example:

Unease trembled in her stomach.

Fury coursed through her.

He trembled as fear crept down his spine.

Reading the examples you might be thinking, ah, nothing seems out of place to me. Sometimes the sentences become more powerful when rewritten without naming the emotion. The image induced in the reader’s mind is more emotionally powerful. If you want the reader to feel the emotion with the character, they should enter the character’s body and head. As a reader I want to think the character’s thoughts, see with them and get their impressions while speaking their words and feeling their physical sensations. I want to be a part of the story. Don’t you?

What words might work better to convey the emotions?

An electric prod in her stomach tousled her insides.

Karen’s clawed hands trembled and her body went rigid, no doubt she planned to rip the deed from his fingers.

An eerie fingertip drew along her spine, freezing her shoulder blades together.

Powerful emotions draw the reader into the story, but there isn’t a rule saying you shouldn’t name the emotion. If the sentence flows better by naming the emotion, then follow your heart.

Following your heart is something high school teacher, Kristina Palmer, craved.

Shadow of the Hawk

“Simple educator” doesn’t begin to describe Kristina, not when she has the ability to read minds and shove someone’s molecules into another dimension. The kidnapping of her little brother by the Dark Angel adds another complication to her life, which is already messed by desiring Grant Carmichael.

Grant uses shifting and clairsentience searching for a means to an end, until he touches Kristina Palmer. A jolt of normal excited him and for the first time, in a century, he’d have to navigate a relationship the old-fashioned way. But will the sweet paranormalist allow him, a shifter, to seduce her?

ISBN: 978-1-60088-833-5 148 pages



jj Keller

Fantasies with spice and humor.

jj Keller (@jjKellerauthor) on Twitter

The Valkyrie and the MarineEverything being a Marine stands for is put to the test when he discovers his true … jj Keller.


6 thoughts on “Deep POV: Prepositional Telling by jj Keller

  1. Hi, ladies. I agree with both of you. POV is always something a writer should be mindful of and a few sentences (for me) straddle the line.

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