Deep POV Inspires Voice by Jeannie Kaye
You’ve probably read articles about deep point of view. If not, you may be wondering what it is. Rather than a lengthy explanation, I’ll show you what deep POV looks like.
The following is taken from my novel Ever Locked.
The first example shows us the typical use of distant POV. The second is revised to show us close, or deep POV.
She reached up and outlined the contours of his face. He closed his eyes, his dark, heavy lashes resting on his cheeks. Iris couldn’t believe how gorgeous he looked. His nearness was tempting her. She thought about kissing him, pressing her lips to each closed eyelid. Yet, she feared he’d reject her like he did before. She didn’t know if she could risk being pushed away again.
She reached up and outlined the contours of his face. He closed his eyes, his dark, heavy lashes resting on his cheeks. So gorgeous. So tempting. What would he do if she pressed her lips there? Would he push her away?
In the first example, a narrator is clearly telling us the girl’s thoughts.
In the second example, we get to climb inside her head and hear her thoughts as she thinks them, in the way she thinks them. This brings us closer to the character; we actually experience the world alongside her. This is deep POV.
Using deep POV adds dimension to your writing. Even better, this technique brings your characters to life by letting their unique voices be heard.
To demonstrate this, let’s play with the distinctive voices of different characters using deep POV.
In the example above, we heard the voice of Iris, a sweet-natured, spirited girl who’s caught in a web of lies, forcing her to marry an abusive billionaire. But Iris is in love with Alonzo, the man in the scene—a good man who will not be romantic with her until she comes back to him.
Now let’s change out the character and put Iris’s best friend, Ella, in her place. Think about how changing her voice—the ideas and expressions she uses in her thought life—tells us more about Ella’s personality.
She reached up and outlined the contours of his face, touching him, weakening him. He closed his eyes, his dark, heavy lashes resting on his cheeks. Holy mother of wow. If he were any hotter there’d be a fire. Well, she had just the fuel to get it started—to turn this gorgeous creature into a raging inferno. She might get burned, but if she didn’t press her lips to those yummy eyes right now, she’d never forgive herself. Ever.
Without mentioning Ella’s feisty nature, we see it in action through her thoughts. We know she’s somewhat aggressive and risky. While the character of Iris reveals a thoughtful, hesitant nature, Ella shows us a girl plotting to use her wiles to get what she wants.
Now let’s change Ella out for another character. Castle Riverwood is the protagonist of the second book in the series, Always Tripped. She’s a hardened, tough girl who keeps close watch on her heart. Relationships and intimacy are out of the question.
Here’s how Castle would react to the situation:
She reached up, intending to outline the contours of his face then yanked her hand back. What was she thinking? No. No touching. Stay strong. Resist this. Resist him. He closed his eyes, his dark, heavy lashes resting on his cheeks. Damn. Why did he have to look like a freaking well of water in the middle of her endless desert? And why in the heck did she want to kiss those beautiful eyes? Stop. She couldn’t think this way. It would jeopardize everything. If she fell for him, he’d destroy her. Steel hardened her spine. No way. Not going there. She turned away from him.
Do you see how easy it is to know this character by hearing her thoughts as she might think them—fragments and all—in her head?
Deep POV pulls the readers into the story and gives them a sense of oneness with the character. They feel the protagonist’s emotions, becoming intimate with his or her hopes, fears and desires. The reader tunnels in from distant empathy to genuine, heartfelt sympathy.
Using deep POV with a character’s voice is especially important when writing in third person. Instead of the narrator’s intrusion on the story, we hear a living inner dialogue. We want to get the narrator out of the story as much as possible and let the characters tell their story themselves.
Deep POV can be tough to employ. It’s simpler just to explain what the character is thinking, feeling, worried about and planning. It’s harder to become that character, use his voice and make his actual thoughts known without using the terms ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘we.’ But with a little practice, you’ll be able to intensify your story by rewriting scenes with deep POV.
Bonne chance and happy writing!
Jeannie is a Certified Life Coach, public speaker, and prolific writer.
Jeannie Kaye Author Page
Destiny may have orchestrated their meeting, but Iris Kent isn’t supposed to fall in love with Alonzo Locke. She’s engaged to Trip Dunnavin—the most eligible bachelor in Dallas. Her future is supposedly set in diamond encrusted stone.
Yet, Alonzo sees through the bubbly exterior of the raven-haired beauty that captivates his heart. Iris is hiding something. Not everything is glittery in her privileged universe.
But just as they realize the strength of their connection, Alonzo's own shadowy secret drives a wedge between them.
Now Iris is locked out of love and locked in a world of outward opulence, silent deception and wordless suffering.
Can Alonzo right the wrongs done to them both before it’s too late?