Deep Point of View

Deep point of viewLong ago I mentioned that one of my interests was immersive writing. This is the reason I read. That complete escape where you are so lost in the story you forget someone wrote it. The author disappears. You find yourself lost on a hidden beach in the Philippines with a group of young travellers. Or falling for a limping, toothless torturer because he’s the only one you’ve met on the journey that seems to know where he’s going.

I want to provide that for my readers. I want you to get as lost in my stories as I do writing them. I know my characters and my world because I’ve lived in it a lot longer than the reader gets to. So what magic could I use to ensure I take you on the page to where I go in my head?

The answer is (or at least one of them) deep point of view.

Point of View (POV) is simply the point of view from which you tell the story.

In the examples above it’s from the young man on the beach – we follow his story, his view of the world.

In other stories it could be from several character’s points of view.

The main point is that we can only see or experience the world as that character does.

Deep Point of View takes that a step closer and removes the author completely. We don’t just know what that character is experiencing we feel it with them.

This tool allows a greater connectivity to the character; it helps the reader understand the character better. It provides an immersive reading experience by use of smoother writer; in that it removes many of the filter words.

 

I came across this example recently of deep point of view:

“This is hell,” muttered Shev, peering over the brink of the canyon. “Hell.” Rock shiny-dark with wet disappeared into the mist below, water rushing somewhere, a long way down. “God, I hate the North.”

“Somehow,” answered Javre, pushing back hair turned lank brown by the eternal damp, “I do not think God is listening.”

“Oh, I’m abundantly aware of that. No one’s bloody listening.”

“I am.” Javre turned away from the edge and headed on down the rutted goat-track beside it with her usual mighty strides, head back, heedless of the rain, soaked cloak flapping at her muddy calves. “And, what is more, I am intensely bored by what I am hearing.”

“Don’t toy with me, Javre.” Shev hurried to catch her up, trying to find the least boggy patches to hop between. “I’ve had about as much of this as I can take!”

(“Two’s Company” copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie – on Tor.com)

Notice the lack of filter words and telling us how the characters feel about their situation. Even from a few short lines we get a very clear idea of how Shev feels about her environment. A deep point of view shows us clearly how the character sees and feels about the world around them, and those in it. And so we are there with them.

How could you help the reader better understand your characters with deep point of view?

 

Useful reading:

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View – Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Rebecca Zanetti blog – Deep Point of View

Fiction Writing Tools blog – 5 ways to write deep point of view

Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Deep POV part 1

How your own quirks can help your writing

chairI’m a hoarder.

You wouldn’t know it by looking.

Not the kind that has to climb over piles of things to get into the house – but I hang on to things longer than I should. I hang onto things that other people wouldn’t.

This is because everything has a story, a connection to an event or person or point in my life and so I find it difficult to let go. I’m getting better but I’m not good.

I recently read an article about attributing meaning to an item to help build your fiction. I have talked about my interest in immersive writing and this tool could assist in providing that experience. Linking objects to the story or using objects in the story, can be a way of bringing the reader in. The use of everyday items can help ground them, particularly in a different world or different culture.

For me everything has some meaning. For example, I cried when we threw out my grandfather’s saw horse. It was no longer even distinguishable as the thing it was created to be. It was actually disintegrating and sitting on the trailer to go to the tip it looked just like a pile of old wood. Nothing special at all.

But for me it was the memory of it in my grandfather’s back yard as well as his use of it. It was a connection to the past, to my childhood. Many days were spent running around that yard, or climbing the trees that grew within it and the saw horse was always in the background, a familiar fixture in that setting.

This is just one example. I have furniture and trinkets that date back further than my grandparents. And of course I have lots of stuff I have bought myself during my own travels and adventures. These items form links to the stories of those people, places and times.

Some say that I need to learn to let go. But I can use that hoarding trait for a character or story. I can link something to a memory or event. I can use it as a trigger for a flashback or conversation in my story. Use it as an aid to describe a character or give insight into her world or personality.

Do you have special items that you could use in your writing, or could you take something ordinary (like the saw horse) and make it something special in your story?

What I am learning from editing

Chapter 8 editing

I have mentioned that my publishing plan has changed a little.

And lately I have been working on a short story for publication soon.

I had thought that I would get the story out, edited and published and then I could settle into the (long) process of editing my fantasy novel.

It is strange how we perceive how things will go. It did not occur to me that I would need to put as much effort into the editing process for the short as I would the novel. But every word is just as important.

Sadly this was only evident after I read most of the short story to my writing group and the suggestions and points starting flowing quicker and thicker than I expected. Truly I thought it was nearly there. And when I considered their feedback I was.

No matter what we are working on each page deserves the same attention.

I am trying to get more writing out to you. It is important to me as a writer to provide the reader with writing. And the more I have out there the greater my chances of being able to write more and ‘day job’ less. But I may have lost sight of some important points in my eagerness to get the writing out.

I want to produce great writing

I want to be producing writing that you not only enjoy but want to read more, and hunger for more and look out for more. Producing any book that is only mediocre writing, whether a novel or a short story, will not inspire you to read more.

I want to build an audience

This of course links back to the first point. If you are not enjoying what you are reading then you will not buy another book. Again it is because I want to create an immersive reading experience that you will want to fall into as soon as you see I have released another story.

I want to love producing it

I do enjoy writing. I find it as immersive writing a story as I do reading a well written one (even though at that first draft it is not well written). I want to continue that and although I worry about the editing process I love to see how the story tightens and smooths and comes together more coherently during that editing process.

It is not about the money

Well it would be nice if my writing paid the bills so that I could escape into it every day. But I write firstly because I love it not because it could be a way to pay the bills and focusing on publishing only to make money will not make me happy either.

 

As well as learning how to improve my story during the editing phase and even learning more about my characters and their world as I consider things I had not during the drafting phase; I am slowly learning that I can make my stories better, learn more about my processes and as much as I love the drafting phase I am learning the joys of editing.

The most important thing is that any writing I produce should have the same effort applied to all stages, whether short or long or epic. Already I worry about editing the trilogy I have started but perhaps I need to think about just how much better it will make the story and focus on that rather than the time it will take. Writing is a slow business anyway and I would rather take the time and do it properly than rush and produce something none of us are happy with.

What part of the writing process do you rush through? Or want to rush through?