Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Taking the Struggle Out of Writing Deep POV

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Every writer wants to take the struggle out of Deep Point of View (POV). The technique allows the reader to step easily into the viewpoint character’s shoes by experiencing every action and reaction through the character’s senses. The reader wants to be that character. He/she has stepped into the protagonist’s or antagonist’s head and emerged as the POV character. Every word is filtered through the POV character.


What is more appealing: a movie or a 3-D movie event? Deep POV accomplishes the 3-D effect. Agreed, not every scene needs this aspect to accomplish the goal of the scene, so examine your story and characters to see if they’re a candidate for deep point of view.


Put It Into Practice

To master this technique, search for areas in the manuscript where the character sees, hears, tastes, smells, or touches—and rewrite the passage so the character experiences the action. Not, tells. Deep POV is the perfect antidote for a telling passage, and the additional benefits establishes the writer as skilled in his/her craft.


Keywords often signal where the writer has strayed from deep POV. Search for these telling words and rewrite: realized, wondered, scanned, know, recognized, and the sensory tell words: see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Telling prepositional phrases can also toss the reader out of the character’s head.


Deep point of view focuses on creating a close relationship between the character and reader. The internal dialogue, emotions, and body language must come from the character’s heart and mind, providing the reader with more intimacy. 

4 Steps

1. Emotions play a huge factor in mastering deep POV, accomplishing two important factors:

  • The reader is more committed to the story because he or she has become the character. 
  • The writer takes the mindset “I am the character,” instead of “I’m writing about the character.” 
  • “In deep point of view the character owns the page and the author becomes nonexistent.” Rhay Christou

2. Write in an active voice that leaves a passive scene in the rearview mirror.


3. Avoid dialogue tags and use action to show the speaker


4. Know every detail about the character, including backstory, goals, strengths, and challenges.


  • Not Deep POV: I felt the sting of the wasp, and I wondered if I might pass out. 
  • Deep POV: A burst of pain like a hot poker pierced my forehead. 

  • Not Deep POV: She realized her boss had only led her to believe she had a raise and promotion so she’d go out with him. 
  • Deep POV: She handed her boss the resignation form and slammed the door behind her. He’d lied about a raise and promotion and asked if she’d celebrate with him. 

Writing deep point of view allows the reader to unite with the character and experience the story. What tips do you have to write deep POV?


Taking the Struggle Out of Writing Deep POV - @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson. Connect here:


  1. Your examples are powerful and show what a difference POV can make. Thank you for sharing this, DiAnn!

  2. DiAnn, I love how you treated this subject. I'm printing this one for my writer's notebook.

  3. Great helpful writing! Thank you DiAnn for making it available to us.

  4. What an excellent writing resource, thank you DiAnn. I'm definitely bookmarking your post.

  5. Excellent points on writing deep POV! Thanks, DiAnn!

  6. Your examples are so helpful. The deep POV does make a difference! Thanks, DiAnn.