Friday, 6 April 2018

Going Deep...

Point of View. It's the view that you , as the writer, choose to tell your reader the story from. (If you've got this far and have no idea what I'm on about, check out this post on The Itch of Writing for the basics about point of view).

When I wrote Granny Rainbow, one of my first readers said they reminded her of Enid Blyton. (Which I like to think was a compliment). And bearing in mind how many Enid Blyton stories I read as a child, then it makes sense that I would stick to what I knew.

'Deep' POV is something rather modern by comparison. This article 'What is Deep Point of View?'  describes how the reader is immersed in the character - seeing only what the character sees, knows only what they know, feels only what they feel...

Now, I thought that this was pretty much the same as 'showing' rather than 'telling' in a story. Which, I am pleased to note, I do a lot of already. For me, finding the deep point of view is a staged process. I often find myself drafting a 'told' story until there is sufficient shape to it that I can see the whole course of the novel. Then - and only then - do I jump into my MC's head and 'go deep' into their POV, rewriting the story as my character would be experiencing it.

It makes me wonder whether there is a crossover with psychic distance, too - or if, in fact, the deep POV which the author of the original article refers to IS, in fact, psychic distance and not POV at all... Have a look at this second blog of Emma Darwin's, see what you think. I reckon deep POV is about level 4 or 5 on the psychic distance scale?

When you're writing like that though, it's a fine balance between immersing your reader deep in your character's experience, and not overwhelming them with a character so alien to themselves, they can't relate to the (possible) brain-dump you're inflicting on them on behalf of your character. It can take a while for that deep character to 'click' with the reader - and some readers may be so alienated by the way the story is presented, they don't read on. I know - I've stopped reading certain books myself because I couldn't get to grips with how deeply I was expected to be in the characters' world view. Trainspotting was one...

Some of my favourite recent reads written with - I think - this deep POV or close psychic distance, are Home by Amanda Berriman, The Night Rainbow by Claire King, Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, and Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier.

Oh - and if you want to try one of mine which has a deeper POV, opt for Kingstone.

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