Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Deep POV Helped Me Achieve Publication by Pamela S. Meyers


Ever wonder how to take your novel from "eh" to publication? There are several things you can do to make your writing better. Join published author Pam Meyers to see how you can use Deep Point of View to help your work touch the heart of your readers
~ Angie

As the launch date for my debut novel Thyme for Love approaches, I’ve been reflecting on how the story developed over a number of years.

Because I enjoy mysteries with strong female leads, I wanted to write such a story. And, because you can be certain that any storyline of mine will include romance, I also wanted the book to have a strong romantic element.

After receiving help from a mystery writer and incorporating the romantic element into the plot, along with a spiritual thread, I thought I had a contest-ready story and entered it in the ACFW Genesis writing contest. My scores were fairly good except that a judge gave me a three for POV. Since the story is written in first person, I was baffled. I asked the judge her reasons for this, and she told me I needed to learn deep POV. That without using that method, my POV was average. In other words—a three.

I had never heard of Deep POV, but I sure did learn about it in a hurry. As I added it to the story I was amazed at how much richer my story read. Now Deep POV comes as naturally to me as breathing. Not always on the first draft, but certainly on the second when I layer in details. With Deep POV, the reader is brought up close and personal with the POV character, and he or she will feel an instant connection, wanting to keep reading. Sometimes, all it takes is a small tweak to a paragraph to power up a scene. An added bonus is that deep POV helps eliminate the dreaded telling that we all try to avoid.

By now many more authors are aware of deep POV, but for the uninitiated I want share some certain telltale word-signs or phrases to look for when revising your writing.

  1. She felt. She felt chills running down her spine. Instead say, Chills trailed down her spine.

  1. She watched or saw, She watched him head down the hall and turn the corner. Instead say, She waited until he disappeared around the corner.

  1. She wondered…thought…knew. (Most of the time this expression is unnecessary. It’s obvious already that a person is thinking this so she must know it.) How would she ever tell him the truth, she wondered. She picked up her keys . . .  Instead say, How would she ever tell him the truth? She picked up her keys and headed for her car.

  1. Emotion labeling such as fear, anger, sad, happy, etc. Anger filled her chest and she raised her chin. Instead say, Heat filled her gut. What a pompous idiot he was to think she didn’t get it. She raised her chin and waited for him to answer.

This is only a small taste of deep POV, but if you aren’t using it in your writing, I encourage you to learn as much as you can about it. If you are a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, go to the archives of the online course. Ginny Smith taught a class on it this year, and the lessons should be archived. If you have questions for me about Deep POV, email me at pamsmeyers@gmail.com and I’d be happy to answer.

April Love has always dreamed of being a chef.
But she didn’t expect a former fiancé
or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she comes face to face with her long-lost love, the drop-dead gorgeous Marc Thorne. It doesn’t take long for their old magnetism to recharge, but how can she trust the guy who left her nearly at the altar eight years earlier? Her gut tells her something happened to Marc in between—something he’s reluctant to reveal.

When April’s boss is murdered, Marc is accused of the crime. Unless April can find out who really killed Ramón Galvez, her chances for love will end up at the county jail. But someone else is just as determined she not solve the mystery…and will go to any length to stop her.

A native of Lake Geneva, Wisc., Pamela S. Meyers currently lives in Arlington Heights, Ill. She served on the Operating Board for ACFW 2005-2009, and is president of her local ACFW chapter. Her debut novel Thyme for Love releases November 14, 2011, and her historical that is set in her hometown, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, will release in June 2012. She has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Computing, Victory in Grace, and Ancestry. She is also a contributor in the compilation book, His Forever.


13 comments:

  1. Pam, Excellent advice. Deep POV is an important tool. I've also heard it expressed something like this: Don't tell me the heroine is cold. Show me the heroine shivering.

    Congratulations on the publication of your book, and best wishes for many more to come.

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  2. Thanks, Angie, for inviting me to post here about Deep POV and my new release Thyme for Love. It's been fun!

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  3. Excellent information packaged in an easy to understand box. I'll share this with my creative writing students, Pam!

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  4. Good article. I watched Pam's writing deepen as she learned this. She layers in all the 5 senses to her writing and draws the reader close to her characters, and making the story come alive.

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  5. Great lesson Pam! You rock girlfriend, and congratulations on the launch! It's been a long time coming and you really deserve this!

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  6. You're welcome, Pam! It's great information and I'm going back through my manuscript to apply what you've shared with us. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  7. Thanks for all the encouraging comments everyone! I also need to mention that TFL is available at Amazon, B&N on line, and Christianbook.com. It can also be purchased at your favorite retail store and can be ordered by them through Ingram or Baker and Taylor. Note that Amazon states it isn't available for 5-6 weeks. This is an error and my publisher is working with them to get it corrected. Amazon does have books!

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  8. This is something I have wanted to dig into. I love being able to get into a characters head when Im reading a novel and I want to be able to deliver that same richness in my own writing. This helps - thanks so much.
    Jan Cline
    www.inlandnwchristianwriters.com

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  9. Good examples and reminders, Pam. Thanks for taking time to write this, and Congrats on the book!

    Blessings,
    Lyndee

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  10. You present a solid, succinct explanation with terrific examples. I have no doubt that you just lifted a veil that was obscuring the vision of many writers!

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  11. Nicely said, Pam. Good examples...

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  12. Thanks, Pam, for giving us such clear examples. I'm starting to get Deep POV and each post on it reveals new methods of achieving it in my writing. Blessings!

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  13. Hi Pam, many thanks for this. I write 'sweet' romances, pocket novels in the uk. I've often heard of Deep POV and know it is very popular but like all techniques it can be difficult to explain - you did it really well, thank you and very succinctly. Now all I have to do is master it!

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