Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I recently gave a presentation to the Las Vegas Romance Writers on writing Deep Point of View. Writing deep places your reader directly in your main character's head. Writing deep eliminates the use of words like he/she thought, felt, saw. smelled, heard. tasted, wondered, etc. Writing deep is showing not telling. When you write deep, you must use the five senses and demostrate emotions. Use this process with your main character and/or villian, but don't use it with your minor characters. You can still tell the mundane things like walking to the store, but when your story takes on important action, write deep.
Writing deep will enhance your characters so that the reader will relate to the action. Remove the words or phrases that keep readers at a distance.

Instead of writing, Nancy was nervous, consider: Nancy's hands shook or her stomach chenched. Show the scene to your reader. Your character isn't thinking about her feelings, she's reacting to the the action that cause her feelings.

It's important to know your characters inside and out to accompolish writing deep. Everything you write is filtered through your character's emotions and eyes. Basic POV is as if you have a camera attached to your character's head. You can only write what they see, hear, sense, and feel. If you keep background information on your characters, you'll know how they will react to any situation. Know their motivation and their flaws.

Instead of writing: "She watched as he lifted the knife and felt absolute terror. He won't stab me, she thought .
For Deep POV: He glared at her and waved the knife. Her stomach clenched. He won't stab me.
Now you're in her head, without adding (she thought.)

Another example:
"He saw a mouse racing across the kitchen and thought he should set a trap." Good. Your character can see. Instead, consider: "James stepped into the kitchen as a mouse raced across the room."Aha, now I know where to set the trap."
See the difference?  I eliminated the 'ing' and the wasted words, saw, and thought. Instead I went straight to the action. The reader knows what James is thinking.
Instead of: Mary struggled as she felt his hands around her neck and wondered if she was going to die.  Consider: His sweaty hands squeezed her neck. She fought to take her last breath. She wouldn't die today. 

Writing deep takes practice, but it's worth the effort.   Joyce Brennan


  1. Joyce Brennan has the skill to make an important subject like Deep Point of View easy to understand and implement. Thanks!

    Mitch Phillips

  2. Thanks, Mitch. As part of the Las Vegas RWA group, I will be giving free classes at the downtown project in the future.

  3. Enjoyed your blog, Joyce. Great advice and examples!

  4. I try to write deep point of view, but it's so much easier to tell than show. Smile! Thanks, Joyce.

  5. Excellent article. "Showing not telling" is paramount for every well told story. This essay made the point well. In addition, it grabbed the attention of its readers with an active point of view.

    In much of my writing of late, I have been consciously trying to follow the formula that you stated so well here.

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Daron. It's exciting to put your reader in the action. Taking the time to write deep is worth the effort. Keep writing, Joyce

  6. Interesting article, Joyce. Definitely food for thought.


  7. Steve, it takes a little effort to write deep, but the results are worth it. Keep writing, Joyce

  8. Joyce, thank you for connecting on LinkedIn. Even thought my genre is poetry, I found your article very interesting. I dabble in a few 'little' stories and enjoy challenges. Look forward to reading more. My blogs are and Since my husband's illness I have not posted much lately but please peruse the sites. Perhaps you will find inspiration.

    1. Sharla, thanks for the kind remarks. I'll keep your blog on my 'read' list. Joyce