Friday, October 29, 2010

GUEST BLOGGER: Vonnie Davis on deep point of view.

I was so excited when romance writer Vonnie Davis volunteered to guest blog on Whispers, even more excited when she told me her topic: achieving deep POV. WELCOME to my guest, and Happy Halloween to everyone!

After reading her post, please visit Vonnie's
blog and website.
UPDATE: Vonnie has recently signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press to publish her romance novel! Congratulations to Vonnie. Also, her husband, Calvin Davis, has a book coming out in December from Second Wind Publishing.

How thrilled I am to be guest blogging at Rhiannon’s place today. We are both represented by the same literary agent. Today, I’m going to discuss point of view.

What is point of view (POV)? POV is the vehicle your reader uses to travel through the story.

Our goals, as a writer, are twofold. First, we want to tell a good story. Second, we want to draw the reader into the head of our POV character. We want our reader to experience everything our character is seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, thinking, smelling and feeling.

To draw the reader into our story, we want to avoid using “she heard” or “she saw” or “she thought.” These phrases distance the reader from the character and are not needed. Here’s a short example:

“Jason saw his parents watching as he pulled out of the driveway for his first solo drive to the mall. For the first time in his life he felt free.”

If we are in Jason’s POV, the phrase “he felt” or “he saw” are not needed. See how this change really puts us in his head –

“Jason pulled out of the driveway for his first solo drive to the mall. Leaving his parents behind was liberating. What a feeling of freedom. Awesome didn’t begin to describe it.”

Now we can feel his excitement. We can almost visualize his smile. And by being in his head, sharing his experience, we can mentally stop and think, yeah, I remember my first time doing that, too. I know exactly how he feels.

Let’s move on to deep POV. In deep POV, we show the reader why. Why does our POV character behave this way? React this way? Think this way? Why does a woman tense in a certain social situation? Why does our male character distrust women? Why is our character afraid of the dark? Why does our teenager hate family social functions?

We all have a history. Our history helps shape our behavior and thoughts. If you’ve taken the time to develop your characters, then you know their history. You know why they behave and react a certain way. In bits and dribbles, you share this with your readers.

Christy, our POV character, reacts a certain way around men. By using deep POV, we are in her head and learn why.

“No, I won’t go to the dance with you.” Christy wiped damp hands on her jeans. Jason was nice enough, but he’d want to put his hands on her and hold her close. Then he might act like her uncle did when she was fourteen, breathing heavy in her ear, sliding his hand over her bottom and pulling her close—too tight to escape. Her breathing was rapid and her heart beating loud enough that Jason could probably hear it. No, she’d not go out with him.

Now we know why. With a few well-crafted sentences, you can help your readers understand and sympathize. They will be in her corner, hoping she can overcome her fears. You have drawn them into her head and her history. This is the power of deep POV.

Thanks so much, Vonnie, for your post and the insightful examples.

Click here to visit Vonnie's blog.

Click here to visit Vonnie's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment