Wednesday, August 7, 2019

For Writers: Solving the Mystery of Deep Point of View: More Techniques for Deep POV – Part Three

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Still digging deep into deep POV!

Deep POV isn’t really a mystery, it’s one of many techniques to create your characters all the way “to the bone,” where their emotions live. It’s a way to drag your audience along on that journey. And, it’s a way to allow your characters to tell their stories. 

Part One and Two showed how dialogue, body language, and a character’s goal and motivation add layers to both the characters and the story itself. (Links at the end of the post)

In Part Three, I want to add some tips:
  • Setting can not only allow a character to react in realistic ways, it can also become a character in itself. Imagine Gone with the Windin any other place besides Georgia during the Civil War. Doesn’t work, does it? Settings which are that intertwined with the story can give the character a world of depth. The movie, Cape Fear¸uses a terrible storm to up the horror factor. Find a setting that allows your characters to react as they go through their arc.
  • Power words allow writers to find more depth in their characters. For instance, a murder mystery will use words like blood, death, knife. Romances use kiss and caress and warmth. Do you see the difference between them? Make a list of words that you think most closely match the mood/tone you want in your story and use them as you go. It will create a mindset for the reader and keep them engaged.
  • External conflict is driven by internal conflict. In the case of our two heroines – Belinda and Susan (from Part One and Part Two) – each are filled with internal conflict since Belinda is going through a divorce and Susan is burying her child. But they must also have external conflict where events beyond their control are happening. Belinda can’t stop her ex from bringing the new girlfriend to the divorce proceedings. It’s her internal conflict that makes Belinda attack her ex, but the external consists of things like who gets custody of the dog, and what Belinda does next in her life. Will she move to another state? Get a job, since she won’t have enough money afterward? Be angry all the time?
  • Susan’s external conflict may be that her husband refuses to face the fact of their child’s death and starts drinking. 

Regardless of what happens to our two heroines, they’ll have to deal with it. And, using deep POV, we have the opportunity to express it through our words so that the reader can understand – and care for – them. 
I hope this series on deep POV helps you to dig deeper!

Don't Miss All the Posts in This Series

I wish to express gratitude to the giants whose shoulders I stand on and who taught me so much about the writing craft. I would list every one, if it were only possible.

Sarah (Sally) Hamer is a lover of books, a teacher of writers, and a believer in a good story. Most of all, she is eternally fascinated by people and how they 'tick'. She’s passionate about helping people tell their own stories, whether through fiction or through memoir. Writing in many genres - mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, medieval history, non-fiction – she has won awards at both local and national levels, including two Golden Heart finals.

A teacher of memoir, beginning and advanced creative fiction writing, and screenwriting at Louisiana State University in Shreveport for over sixteen years, she also teaches online for Margie Lawson at Sally is a free-lance editor and book coach at Touch Not the Cat Books, with many of her students and clients becoming successful, award-winning authors. 

You can find her at hamerse@bellsouth.netor

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