How to Write Deep POV – Tip #5

This week we’ll be covering Tip #5 in writing deep POV:  Make the character’s emotions DO something. 

What does this mean?  Let me show you a before-and-after illustration from my own writing to help you understand: 

Before:  “She felt fear in her very bones.” 

After:  “Fear raced down her spine like a cavalry of stampeding horses.” 

In the first example, I used the word “felt” which is a no-no in writing deep POV (For more on this writing mistake, see the post for July 1, 2011).  A word like “felt’ will distance your reader from your character.  Also, using “felt” is simply telling your reader about the emotion instead of allowing your reader to experience the emotion with the character. 

Notice that in the second example, I have the emotion of fear doing something. In this example, the fear is racing down my character’s spine.  Moreover, I have used a simile to describe the manner in which the emotion of fear is racing down my character’s spine: ‘like a cavalry of wild horses.”  Using a simile to describe an emotion deepens the emotion and, as a result, deepens the point of view. 

Here is a little exercise to do this week:  Take a paragraph from your own WIP and make your character’s emotions DO something.  Then share what you’ve written. 

Stay tuned for Tip #6 next week: When describing setting, use words that mirror your character’s feelings. 

Until then, happy writing! 🙂

 

MaryAnn

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