Friday, Jun 10, 2011

Deep POV

This week we’ll be discussing deep POV.  Deep POV, aka “limited third person” POV, is a technique fiction writers use to create deep closeness between character and reader.  It is that POV in which the writer places herself in the skin of her character and sees, hears, feels, smells, touches, tastes, and perceives everything through that character.  In deep POV, the writer BECOMES the character. 

Deep POV is currently the most popular technique in fiction writing. I have a theory that the reason for this is that our culture today craves a return to the intimacy that was lost when the family became nuclear and started to fall apart.  Whether my theory is true or not, fiction writers today are seeking a deeper connection between their characters and their readers. 

Well-known novelist Alicia Rasley describes deep POV as follows in her excellent book, The Power of Point of View:  “Deep POV is about being so into the character that you feel with her body, think with her mind, and write with her voice” (p. 7). In deep POV, there is no author intrusion whatsoever. In fact, the author relinquishes her voice, so to speak, and turns it over to the character. 

Another way to understand deep POV is to think of it as combining the intimacy of first person POV with the third person grammatical structure.  When writing deep POV, it often helps to write your scene in first person and then change it to third person. 

There are several techniques used to write in deep POV.  Next time, we will explore some of the most common ones.  So stop by next week, same time, same station. 🙂

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