Clare-ifying Deep POV

A reader mentions “Deep POV.” I thought I must be the last person alive to not be able to define this term, until I read up and discovered I’ve been using it and teaching it for years. I use a different term and explain it a different way, but my hat’s off to whomever made up the term.
Writing Tip for Today: The last thing any writer needs is one more method or term to remember. So I’ll defer to Deep POV (or PP which also happens to be my favorite soda, diet, thank you very much) and link my terms to it.
  • Two POVs Better than One? Deep POV refers to going beyond third person limited viewpoint, but only in a way that won’t shock you. DP used to be used mainly by romance writers whose audience wanted to experience the story from both male and female viewpoints. Same old rules apply: Only switch POVs at scene breaks (unless you are super skillful) and don’t try to tell the story from every character’s point of view. Whatever you choose, remember that this is perhaps a relationship’s story, not just one individual.
  • Watch that Observing Consciousness. OC works with a single or multiple viewpoints. For years I’ve steered students away from markers such as he thought, she realized, he saw, she heard. Reader is already in a POV, the theory goes, so why reiterate that the character is thinking, feeling, seeing etc. You don’t usually remind yourself of these facts and the whole idea is the reader becomes the character.
  • To Italicize or Not to Italicize. You can avoid most italicized thoughts by simply stating them in the same tense as the story. In my little opinion, italics are hard to read and tend to grate on the reader after awhile. If the dialogue is sort of spoken internally (what we think of as talking to oneself), and it’s in present tense and first person, then italicize.
  • Deepen Your Story. The reason DP works so well is that allows the reader to experience emotion. Emotion is the key, for it allows readers to laugh and cry with the hero and boo and hiss at the villian. Using a Deep POV should help you keep the camera close and the emotions flowing. I have now Clare-ified this issue, right? If not, drop me a question and I’ll try to answer.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

3 comments on “Clare-ifying Deep POV

  1. Thanks so much for the great post. I’ve been struggling with deep pov for a while. Sometime this week I’ll be writing a post on it. Can I refer the readers to this post? Have a great day.

  2. Of course you can refer readers here, Liz. The more the merrier! And to everyone: Blogger has been acting strangely for me of late, and I tried to correct the PP to DP several times. My idea of a good DP is Doctor Pepper, in case you were wondering. Happy writing! ~Linda

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