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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rivet Your Reader with Deep Point of View

Please welcome guest blogger Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Have you ever read a book that melded your mind with the main characters’ psyches? Their every experience became yours, and your reading pleasure intensified. Why? How did that happen? What did the writer do to gain that affect?

The technique is called Deep Point of View, and we’ll plumb the depths (pun intended) of this fun and fundamental skill during my upcoming workshop, beginning July 26.

Even a novice writer is familiar with the concept of “point of view.” Most even know the difference between first person and third person. And if we’re really savvy, we’re up on the concept of tenses—past, present, and future—in storytelling. But Deep Point of View puts basic POV on steroids. It’s like a classic car—turbo-charged, or the difference between mastering Mount McKinley and conquering Mount Everest.

I learned this technique from my awesome editor in the school of deadline during the substantive edit of my debut novel, and my writing has never been the same since. Honestly, when she showed me the tips and tricks I wondered where I’d been all my life—or why my publisher picked up my rookie manuscript in the shape it had been in.


Here are some identifying characteristics of Deep POV:

Deep POV eliminates narrator distance. The reader will feel like there is nothing between them and the events in the story. Even third person can seem like first person!

Deep POV is always immediate, which makes it an excellent choice for high action books or scenes. Or conversely, it’s a wonderful way to flow in the psyche of the POV character during contemplative moments.

However, Deep POV is not a long string of internal monologue.

Deep POV does not use italics like direct thoughts. Italics remain only for use in brief snippets of quoted thought.

Want to tame that nasty show/don’t tell monster? You guessed it! Proper use of Deep POV will have that man-eater purring in no time.

Deep POV will not allow lazy characterization because the writer must be so intimate with their characters that she can convey them as if she were them.

Consequently, in Deep POV, the voice of each POV character sparkles and shines.

A single blog post isn’t nearly enough space even to begin share the specific examples and practical applications I plan to share with my students later this month. I’m jazzed to pass the torch.

Jill Elizabeth Nelson writes what she likes to read—tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith, earning her the tagline: Endless Adventure, Timeless Truth. When teaching classes for writers, she delights in bringing the Ahah! moment to her students as they make a new skill their own. Jill and her husband live in rural Minnesota where they raised four children and are currently enjoying their first grandchild.

Calculated Revenge, a May 2010 release, is Jill’s seventh novel and her third for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Romantic Suspense imprint. Her debut trilogy, the To Catch a Thief series, published by Multnomah Books (a division of Random House), was recently re-released in hard cover, large print by Thorndike Press. Visit Jill on the web at www.jillelizabethnelson.com.

Calculated Revenge

It’s been eighteen years since Laney Thompson’s sister was abducted and killed, but Laney’s pain and haunting guilt has never faded. Now the murderer is back, taunting Laney with mementos of her sister and threatening Laney’s young daughter. School principal Noah Ryder is her best hope for protecting her daughter—if she can convince the former investigator to take the case. As the threats escalate and clues lead to shocking secrets from the past, Laney’s survival—and that of her daughter—depends on the rusty gifts and skills Noah wants only to forget.

Deep POV runs July 26, 2010 through August 22, 2010


Dawn Chartier said...

This sounds like a great class and I would love to take it, but its during Nationals. Bummer.

Dawn Chartier
Not An Angel, Out Now!

Marsha A. Moore said...

I'm signed up and excited about this workshop -- looks great!