Saturday, August 25, 2012

DEEP POV by Joylene Nowell Butler

New Guy in Town
By Joylene Nowell Butler

There’s a new guy in town and his name is Deep POV. I know what you’re thinking: Omniscient, Third, First, and now Deep! Give me a break!
Honestly, Deep POV is actually a kewl guy who will give your scenes new life. Remember when you were a kid and you’d be sitting on the toilet trying to pee and your mum would yell through the door, “Hurry up!” And because you were all due for Sunday dinner at Grandma’s (or someone equally important), exasperated mum would burst in, turn on the faucet--and voila! Wonder of wonders. My mother is gone now, but when she visited, I locked the bathroom door. 
Many good writers struggle over POV. But they needn’t. It’s like peeing whenever you hear running water. In time it becomes a natural process. It’s like riding a bicycle; once you learn, you never forget. In order to trust your instincts and pick the POV that best suits your particular story, you need to understand your choices. Deep POV is just one more choice. 
To recap, let’s agree that Omni is a god-like character for a reason. Like God, Omni knows everything. Where writers make a mistake is thinking Omni means head-hopping. It doesn’t.
Omni is the novel’s camera. Omni shows you, he doesn’t tell you what’s happening. Imagine what it would be like if every single time you watched a movie and the camera moved to a new character, there was a new voice over. It would drive you nuts. And like everybody else, you’d do one of three things: leave the theatre, switch the channel, or eject the DVD. 
That’s why when I work with writers who choose Omni, I remind them Omni shouldn’t never appear in the story. He’s the narrator/host who takes us on a journey and shows us what happens.
Unlike the formal Omni, Third person draws the camera closer so that we experience intimacy with the character. We hear what he hears, see what he sees, feel what he feels, and taste what he tastes. The best part, we get to read his thoughts. If the protagonist doesn’t experience it, we don’t. That simple. “Jump inside the head of your protagonist” effectively describes the technique. 
Today on television Deep POV is nicely illustrated on Dexter and reruns like Veronica Mars. Voiceover makes the experience of watching those shows more intimate. We’re privy to information directly from the star of the show, or in the case of novels, the protagonist.
Deep POV, a combination of 1st person (intimate) and third (limited) lets us experience the pure expression of a character’s presence without anything being filtered. There’s no he felt, he thought, he said. It’s all immediate and personal. 
Why bother using Deep POV? I promise you nothing pulls your reader in faster and allows him to instantly appreciate and care about your character. You’ve made them forget they’re reading a book, and instead, they’ll be immediately drawn right into the heart of the story.

Here’s some crude, but simple examples:
He felt his heart break … becomes:
She spoke, and inside his chest – snap! His heart broke in two.

“Kiss me, baby,” she teased, and grinned widely. … becomes:
“Kiss me, baby.” Ouch, if she grinned any wider her cheeks would crack.

Joylene is the author of the suspense thrillers Dead Witness and Broken But Not Dead, which won the 2012 Independent Publishers Award for Best Regional Fiction Canada – West. Dead Witness is a finalist in the Global eBook Awards. 

Dead Witness
by Joylene Nowell Butler
Mystery Thriller


Anonymous said...

Hi, Joylene! Interesting way to look at Deep POV. Don't think I'll forget this one. Thanks!

J.Q. Rose said...

Excellent information here. So THAT's Deep POV! Thanks!