Monday, February 24, 2014

Burying Old Bones with Deep POV by Tanya Stowe


Tanya Stowe

Hey, writers! Are you old enough to remember being taught to use two spaces after punctuation? Or to use plenty of detailed description? (Oh, the adjectives.) Writing trends and expectations keep changing. Even now, the phrases "she thought" or "he wondered" are being phased out as editors prefer deep POV. Today's guest, Tanya Stowe, offers some insightful tidbits on deep POV. Read on! ~ Annette

Burying Old Bones with Deep POV
by Tanya Stowe

I’m a dinosaur. I thought when I reached fifty that I’d arrived at the status of a collectible, but now I know I go much further back.

I started writing when the classic form was still popular. Narrative methods were used—maybe overused—and author insertion worked. As a dutiful student, I learned to think and write as an author “observer.” Even though I was considered a bit of a groundbreaker with my scenes starting in the middle of action and dialogue, I still found myself garnering comments like “too passive, be more active” or the dreaded “show don’t tell.”

With the onset of e-Publishing, readers have an expectation of faster reads with even more immediacy. As an e-Published author, I knew it was time to shed those old “dino” bones and raise my writing to a new level. But where to start?

I belong to a writers’ organization that does a very good job of educating its up and coming writers. At many conferences and online classes I’d attended workshops about deep point of view. Old-timer and experienced writer that I am, I naturally assumed deep POV meant getting deep into the psyche of your characters.

And that, dear friends, is why my old bones were rattling!

I jumped into some serious research on deep POV and found that it’s definitely about delving into your character, but it’s much more. The technique tells the story from the protagonist’s stream of consciousness, revealing events from inside, through the character’s thoughts and actions.

With deep POV, the character unfolds different personality traits through quirky thoughts, repetitive actions or intense internal reactions with opposing external actions. Imagine the explosion going on inside James Bond as he delivers one of his one-line comebacks to the bad guys! Or maybe Mr. Bond really is just as calm on the inside as the outside. With the use of deep POV, the possibilities for rich, multi-dimensional characters are endless.

Deep POV is great for characterization but it also makes the story more immediate by eliminating the insertion of the author’s thoughts and presence in the middle of the story. No outside narrator exists between the reader and the protagonist. The reader lives the story as if she is the protagonist.

But be careful. Deep POV is not a continuous stream of conscious monologue. That can be as boring and off-putting as author intrusion. An occasional word or phrase in italics accentuates deep POV and brings depth, insight, or emotion to a scene.  It doesn’t eliminate the need for good descriptions or snappy dialogue but deep POV will eliminate almost all of those pesky “show-don’t-tell” pop-ups that can plague even the best of writers.

Personally, I’m counting on deep POV to bury some bones so deep they never come back to the surface.
Tender Trust

~~~~~
Tender Trust

Alex Marsden dragged Penny Layton out of the gutter and promised her a happily-ever-after love with a house and a white-picket fence. But the Civil War changed their paths. Separated twice by circumstances beyond their control, Penny learned to survive on her own, but lost hope. Five years later when Alex miraculously returns to her, Penny doesn't believe in happy endings or miracles. Will Alex's faith and love be strong enough to drag Penny out of the gutter one more time?

~~~~~

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary. Connect with Tayna here: 


21 comments:

  1. Nothing jerks me out of a story more than reading along, really into the character's head, and then POV shifts without warning. Great post, Tanya. LOVE the blurb for Tender Trust. :)

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    1. Thanks, Dora! So nice to see you here!

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  2. Great post Tanya. You did make me laugh about punctuation. I had a hard time giving up those two spaces!

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    1. It's so true. Old habits die hard. That why I have to bury those bones so deep! Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Wonderful post, my friend...but I'm not surprised. You continue to amaze me with your writing and plotting skills.

    Two spaces after a sentence. I shudder, even now, thinking how long it took me to break that habit. And it's the one my mentees still balk at the most. "I don't know how to stop," they all say. But it can and must be done.

    Seriously good job, Tanya!

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    1. Thank you for the invitation, Annette. Loved my time spent here!

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  5. Ah, yes, that two space fiasco. It amazes me how much has changed since I went to school (walking miles in the snow and up hill...both ways). :)

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    1. Me too, Sandra! I think I was barefoot walking in that snow. Lol! I said I was a collectible!

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  6. Wonderful insights, Tanya - great column! Writing 'rules' come and go, but great story telling will always rule the day. Blessings on Tender Trust, my friend! Hugs!

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  7. Two spaces? I'm lucky if I remember one, lol. Nice post, Tanya :D

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  8. hi Tanya, oh, my. I remember writing acres of overwrought description....when I didn't realize readers skip it LOL. Thankfully editors and RWA workshops got me on the right track. Great stuff today, my friend. And God's continued blessings with Tender Trust.

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    1. Overwrought description. What a wonderful way to put it, Tanya. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Great post. I love reading deep POV. It took me some time before I realized that was the reason I loved reading a particular author who had mastered it. I become immediately connected to the characters and there is no "distance".

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    1. I'm still working on the "mastering" part Maria! Thanks for commenting!

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  10. Tanya, thanks for making me smile and think. My hubby is always saying we are dinosaurs...

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  11. Thank you, Annette, for inviting me to Seriously Write!

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