Deepening POV

I started reading a book a few weeks ago, from the recommendation of an online friend. It’s called Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I highly recommend it.

Short, sweet, and to the point, Nelson highlighted several of my common mistakes and gave me insight on how to not only fix them, but to avoid them altogether.

In the first chapter, Nelson describes the different kinds of POV and gives clear examples about what they are and what they aren’t. But chapter two gets to the meat of the book–explaining how deepening POV eliminates narrative distance. It made perfect sense. I have to cut myself out of the book so my characters quit tripping over me. Really hard, since I’m writing a first person novel, but it’s basically stuff like instead of saying a character watched something, just say the something happened.

Deepening POV, according to Nelson, will solve two of my biggest issues–what to do about those pesky italic thoughts  (no italics for deep POV. Simple answer), and how to get a reader to completely absorb themselves into my character instead of being detached.

Chapter three advises against the use of phrases like I wondered, he thought, she thought, etc.  In chapter four, she recommends not giving the name to a feeling. For example, instead of saying I’m angry, I stomp my feet and slam my glass on the table. Let feelings be given through action. Great advice.

Chapter five hits home, recommending to “ditch prepositional tells.” I love prepositional tells. My writing is peppered with them, and I have to keep forcing myself to cut them.  I love her idea to give dialogue in context, so the prepositions aren’t needed. This is one place I really need to grow–establishing characters in a setting/scenario/context before having them in an emotional scene.

Chapter six delves into another of my personal habits–filtering through he saw/she saw. I can always stand to write more direct.

In chapter seven, she gives advice on how to write linearly, step-by-step. This practice has really helped me muddle my way through that dreaded middle portion.

I spent the most time in the last chapter where the author makes some remarks about deepening POV specifically in first person. Her overview makes all the tiny errors that hold my writing back from where it needs to be glare out like a beacon.

What I love most about this book are the little exercises, and that it’s short and focused on this one particular  practice of writing.

Great little writing help book!

About monicamynk

I'm a Christian, wife, mother, and high school science teacher, and author of the Cavernous Trilogy and Goddess to Daughter Series.

Posted on April 6, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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