Deep Point of View in Writing Fiction

To write fiction that grabs the reader and keeps them engaged from page one to the end, you have to learn how to write deep point of view (POV).  For some people that grew up reading Nancy Drew and the like, that can be difficult.

Maybe you remember Tom Swifties. They were clever. Some of you remember times when fiction, particularly genre fiction, liberally used words like thought, felt, saw, heard …

Not anymore. The idea, right or wrong, is to get closer to the reader. Get the reader inside the character’s head. Instead of “He saw the geese take flight,” it’s “As the geese took flight, one dropped a huge mass of poop on his head.”

Yeah. Ick factor. But, my friends, that is what today’s reader is looking for. We live by Facebook and reality television and the latest tweet. That’s what today’s readers are used to seeing.

Want to get to deep POV? Read your book through the eyes of a reader. Are you in the car? Flying that airplane? Tumbling down the mountain?

Or are you outside looking in?

Tips to bring your writing closer to deep POV:

Eliminate words like thought, felt, reflected, pondered, etc. When we react, we don’t mentally say, “I thought I saw a black cat.” It’s more like, “A black cat!”

Employ visceral reactions. Does your throat tighten in fear when a black cat crosses your path? What do you do when you’re nervous? Angry? Use those reactions in your story. Begin to observe others.

Make sure everything is written from the point of view character. If necessary, play the scene in your own head. If you walk into an office and someone has their head down, can you see if they are smiling?

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