Exploring Deep POV
I’ve only recently been confronted with the concept of Deep Point Of View – what it is, what it isn’t, and how it could help my story. Perhaps I’m showing my ignorance, but when I first saw the words “Deep POV” my brain went to must be a new carpet cleaner (if you can’t tell, cleaning the carpet in our living room has been on my mind lately).
The way some writers describe Deep POV it is this magic elixir that will cure nearly all characterization ills in a story - the kind I tend toward in my writing. A cure-all of any kind makes me suspicious. But after hearing from two writers who have no connection to each other that I should look into Deep POV because it could help me take my story to the next level, I relented that maybe I need to take another look at this.
It was recommended I pick up a copy of “Rivet your readers with deep point of view” by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. And I can see why. It’s a small, inexpensive book with only 61 pages. Not immediately intimidating. Even though I’m a little skeptical I’m also a little scared, so this helps put me at ease. Nelson’s voice is friendly and authoritative, but what makes me believe she knows what she’s talking about are her examples – the only way Deep POV loses its mysticism.
The following are two entries from Nelson’s Chapter Four Worksheet Sample Answers page:
Shallow: Annoyed, Heidi slammed the drawer.
Deep: Grumbling under her breath, Heidi slammed the drawer. Who took the keys?
Shallow: Disappointment at Allan’s absence dulled my enthusiasm for the outing.
Deep: Why bother going if Allan wasn’t coming along?
Seeing Deep POV in action really helps to “get it.” That’s another thing I like about her book, the opportunity to practice and something to compare your answer to, to see if you’re on the right track.
I’m only just getting started with the book, but I am already seeing how I can improve. That said doing it is still no easy task for me. It seems like this should be easier to apply.
Well, if you don’t mind, next month I would like to report again on my exploration of and progress with Deep POV. I’ll include my own attempts at Deep POV. I know I can nail the Shallow examples, tune in next month see how I do with the Deep ones.