A bit about working with deep point of view.
I have been so pleased to have lots of guests on the blog lately, and there are more to come in the next few weeks. I am very excited about my visitors and if you follow the blog you are in for a treat. I thought though I ought to offer a blog post too. Here is a little piece about the way I work. By the way, don’t forget to hit the favourite button.
One of the things I work hard at in my writing is trying to use deep point of view. I am not always successful and sometimes what I think is deep point of view can be deepened far more, but on the occasions I think I get it right I am always thrilled. Why, you might ask. Mainly because deep point of view pulls the reader into the story, offers them an experience with my character and gives them a better understanding of motivation and emotions.
Of course, at present as I am still developing the skill, my writing doesn’t stay in deep point of view all the time, some would argue nor should it. Deep point of view can be challenging to both the writer and reader, as it is so intense.
I was very pleased recently with a response from a critique partner who said I had made her ‘feel’ with the character. That statement made the effort of working with deep point of view very worthwhile.
I can hear you perhaps saying, “Now hold on a moment, Daisy, old stick, what’s with all the effort?”
My answer is, yes, writing in deep point of view requires effort. Each paragraph, each sentence is never simply written and I move on, each is assessed often far more than once. I’ll try to show you what I mean. In my story To Eternity, to be published by Lyrical Press as the sequel to my werewolf story Timeless. I wanted to show the reader and let them share Sian’s efforts in climbing a mountain. I’ve chosen this piece below to show you, please be aware this is as yet unedited so you are seeing it raw:
Her knees quivered and locked, her stomach rolled, every limb stiffened as if she’d become stone, and yet her heartbeat raced. A sour wave surged from her stomach. If she opened her mouth as she moved, she’d puke. Tears, dried fast by the wind up here, sprang again as the protection of Magnus’ arms moved from around her torso.
“Quickly, dearest. Do it now!”
Sweat tricked between her breasts as she lurched up to cling onto the slender pinnacle. She reached out. The granite rasped under her glove. She gripped tight wrapping one arm around the wedge of rock, for she had to let her feet swing above the small ledge where Magnus remained.
Nothing stood between her and eternity. She clung tight with one arm and scrabbled about in search of a loose pebble amid a tiny depression beneath her questing palm.
Some of the ways to deepen point of view are subtle but work well in holding the reader. One tip to develop this point of view is to use the character’s name as little as is possible in their point of view, its natural if you think about it. When I am doing things I don’t think things like, Daisy would much rather have eaten the chocolate cake but the diet forbid it. If I were writing that in deep point of view, I might use something like:
If she ate the perfect slice of chocolate cake this evening, then tomorrow when she stood on the scales they’d have a nasty message for her. She sighed and gnawed at the edge of the diet cracker.
Another way to deepen point of view is to skip reference to the way the character picks up information. If the reader is in the character’s head they know the character sees, hears, feels, thinks because they do it with the character. Therefore, there is no need to write, she saw, heard, and thought, etc., the reader already knows it. This excerpt is the beginning of my story Your Heart My Soul published by Liquid Silver Books.
Before God, he couldn’t deny it. Tonight, change hung heavy in the air, but not in the way he longed for. No sign of his sweet Sally to cheer him; not a breath of her fragrance in the stillness; no clatter of her red-striped heels over the flagstones outside announced her arrival.
A part of him long ago warned this vigil, it were a waste, and he’d never hear those precious sounds again. That time had gone … he’d only to glance at the star patterns in the winter sky to know it … but … what if he were wrong? Mayhap all these doubts, this waiting, it might be a test of his love. Perhaps the day would dawn when his Sal would come to him. One precious evening he’d find her here, and they’d be happy again as they’d sworn.
Faith must be the key. He’d a head start on others in that quarter, for his very name gave his offer of assurance to his family, to his master, and to his shipmates. They’d never yet found him wanting and nor would his darlin’ wench.
I think this hit the right spot, and I think I heard his voice in it as should be in deep point of view.
One other element to deepen point of view is to use only necessary dialogue tags. In this little piece from my new story A Perfect Match due out this summer with Taliesin Publishing, I’ve tried to show this. Edits aren’t finished on this at the time of writing this blog so again you are seeing it raw.
“Raisa, are you certain? Is it a genuine warning?”
“Yes, I fear so, mistress. Before you retire tonight, you will receive a direct command from His Eminence, Lord Chardel. Not even the Mother of the Temple can gainsay such a decree.”
Her stomach churned. She shook her head until her long earrings rattled. This wasn’t true. Her knees wilted and forced her to sit on the edge of the narrow bed. “I can’t think any of the Carnag would allow him to make such an edict.” She laced her fingers together as if in prayer. “Was there no one in the assembly who’d dispute on my behalf?”
I hope you found the idea of deep point of view as interesting as I do. I hope you agree I have used the method to lure the reader closer in the examples I’ve used.
Many thanks for reading.
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