How to Write Deep POV – Tip #8

Tip #8 for writing in deep POV is to use specific details. Details show, and showing instead of telling deepens your character’s POV.  

For example, let’s look at the following two phrases. The first one tells; the second one shows:

                            A nice car (telling)

                            A shiny, silver Lexus in mint condition (showing)

The same principle works when you describe your character’s feelings.  Show them through specific details.  Here are before and after examples: 

      Before:  She felt fear when he entered the room. (Telling)

      After:     Her breath lodged in her throat when he entered the room. 

In this second example, you have SHOWN the character’s emotions by using specific details: breath, lodged, and throat.

Now look at your own WIP and circle those sentences that tell instead of show. Then revise them by using specific details.

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4 thoughts on “How to Write Deep POV – Tip #8

  1. hi Maryann … I’ve been on vacation and am now suffering post-vacation-reentry-syndrome. 🙂 So, am trying to catch up on things before the Philly conference next week.

    You’ve brought up a great point about showing. Whenever possible, use specific things instead of generic things. Your car example is perfect. When we use a specific item, we automatically create an image in the reader’s mind and it helps them connect more deeply with the story.

    But we have to find a balance. You don’t want to be “name dropping” all over the page. I’ve seen some manuscripts like that and it’s really distracting.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    • Hey, Pam,

      I think you just invented a new medical condition: PVRS. 🙂

      As always, thanks for your comments. I love your emphasis on balance. Good point!

      Blessings and Welcome Back!

      MaryAnn

      August 5, 2011 at 11:41 AM