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Friday, February 13, 2015

Does Deep Point of View Matter?

By Kelly Bridgewater

All I hear from published writers is that you need to conquer Deep Point of View. I have studied and studied books like Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View  by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I have taken classes offered by the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I have printed off when My Book Therapy has showed a normal point of view versus Deep Point of View. I have archived when Seekerville or The Writer’s Storm has written on Deep Point of View. I have looked at their examples and tried to incorporate it into my own writing.

Deep Point of View makes sense. A way for the reader to jump into the head of the character and experience the moment of action just as the character does. I love reading books where I'm placed in the action and follow the train of thought and emotions of the characters, feeling like I'm right there with them.

But . . . I sit down and write my story, and it doesn't flow that well. I have gone back and tried to revise my writing, but that part of my brain doesn’t want to corporate. I have tried so hard to improve my writing using Deep Point of View, but it doesn’t happen. I would love to have a published author comment on this and give me some suggestions on how they incorporate Deep POV into their own writing. I would be extremely grateful.

In December, I read Steven James’ latest book, Checkmate. As a student of Deep POV, I have been noticing how writers incorporate this into their own writing and focusing in on those phrases that might make my writing sing. But as I read his latest book, I noticed he doesn’t use the type of Deep POV like everyone else preaches on.

Let me explain what I mean:

In Checkmate on page 312 James’ wrote: “My ankle throbbed, my right palm was blistered with rope burns, and my side hadn’t stopped bleeding. I needed stitches again, so my pilot arranged for us to land on the pad of one of the hospitals so I could get that taken care of.”

Notice in James’ writing he writes as a matter of fact. It was straight to the point, telling the reader what was bothering Patrick Bower. There is no interruption from Bowers explaining the pain or his feelings.

In Downfall by Terri Blackstock on page 149, she wrote: “ ‘I twisted my ankle, but I’m okay.’ She got up, keeping her weight on her good foot.  It wouldn’t be good to show weakness in a place like this. Slowly, she put weight back on her left foot, and pain ripped through her.
Sweat broke out on her face as she limped the rest of the way down the basement. They took her to a small room and uncuffed her hands, though they left her feet shackled.”

In Blackstock, she allows the character of Emily Covington to intrude on the action. The guard asked her if she was okay, and we have this long train of thought before we actually move onto the guards' response.

James creates a lot of dialogue in his story in between the moments of moving around. That is how the readers understand any clues or hints given to help solve the crime that occurred.

I wonder if Deep Point of View is necessary all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it isn’t necessary because I love seeing it in books by Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Dee Henderson, Sarah Sundin, Julie Lessman, among tons more I could name.

But I don’t see James’ incorporating it in the normal fashion. Maybe it is different for thrillers.

Do you agree with what I have written or have I totally picked an idea out of left field? Include ideas on how to improve my own struggle with including Deep POV in my personal writing.

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