In previous posts, we’ve discussed point of view as it relates to each character and scene. With deeper point of view, the reader is drawn further into a character’s actions and thoughts, essentially getting inside the character’s head as the scene unfolds.
One way to accomplish this is to eliminate tag lines. Instead of repeatedly interrupting the scene with he said/she said, the natural flow of characters’ dialogue, emotions, and action tell the story.
Deeper POV also works in tandem with the concept “show, don’t tell.” Instead of telling the reader a character is wondering, seeing, hearing, or feeling, a good writer lets the characters act out the scene naturally as it would occur in real life.
Here are some examples. The second sentence/paragraph in each sequence is written in deeper POV.
She glanced at him and wondered where his patience came from.
She glanced at him. Where did his patience come from?
Jackie swirled the coffee in her cup and carefully considered her reply.
Jackie swirled the coffee in her cup. How should she reply?
She snuggled under the covers, wishing she’d planned the trip for another day.
She snuggled under the covers. If only she’d planned the trip for another day.
He thought about why she was always late for church.
Why was she always late for church?
Dave felt her eyes searching his face.
Her eyes searched his face.
Kathy heard a rustling and then saw a snake slither out of the bushes. She hoped she could outrun the snake before it bit her. She noticed it was a harmless black snake and stopped to take a deep breath. Snakes gave her the creeps.
Kathy turned toward the rustling in the bushes. A harmless blacksnake slithered out. She jumped behind a tree as the snake slid down the trail ahead of her. A chill tingled through her. She shook it off and stepped back onto the trail.
She was angry that he talked non-stop, never allowing her to voice an opinion during a discussion. He must think her opinion didn’t matter. She wondered what it would take to make him listen.
“Shut up!” She drew a deep breath and straightened to face his wide-eyed stare. Did that scream just come from her mouth? Maybe now he would listen.
The first sentences/paragraphs in each sequence aren't necessarily incorrect, but they inhibit deeper character and scene development which leads to a less interesting story.
Take another look at your WIP. Are there places you could rewrite to deepen character POV? If you’d like to share an example or make a suggestion for future topics for me to discuss, please leave a comment. I enjoy the encouraging and insightful thoughts shared each week.