Writers often feel uncomfortable writing in the first person “I” voice. Some English teacher from long ago taught them not to litter a page with the word “I.” But there are ways to keep these “I”s minimal–and using DEEP POV will help.
Writing Tip for Today: What is DEEP POV and how do you use it? Whether you write in first person or third person, deep POV brings the camera closer and lets your reader feel a part of the character’s experience. Here are three simple steps to DEEP POV:
- Look for Names and Pronouns. The POV (point of view) character is the person telling you the story. If you want to employ Deep POV, first look for sentences that begin with “I,” he or she or the POV character’s name.
- Home in on Certain Words. Here is a partial list of words to look for when switching to Deep POV: I noticed, realized, thought, figured, knew. She saw, heard, observed. He felt. These words tend to pull back the camera so that the reader must add an extra step before experiencing what the character experiences. Deep POV is also sometimes referred to as the “observing consciousness.” When you see, hear, think or feel, you don’t first tell yourself that you are doing these things–you just do them. Same is true for Deep POV characters–they simply experience something, without reminding the reader that they are using their brain or senses to do so.
- Drop the Observations. Last, rewrite your sentence to reflect a Deep POV. Instead of “I feel a shooting pain rocketing up my spine,” the revision would be, “A shooting pain rockets up my spine.” Instead of he thought she was the prettiest girl on earth,” rewrite to, “She was the prettiest girl on earth.” Instead of “She saw him climb in her window,” you’d write, “He climbed in her window.”