Archive - Novel Structure RSS Feed

The Nuances of Deep POV – Part 2

We’re taking some time to look at deep POV, mainly because I see violations running rampant in the manuscripts I edit and critique. So much so, it feels like a horde of orcs storming the castle doors.

We looked last week at some basic issues surrounding deep POV. I talked about how every line in every scene should sound like your POV character. That includes the narrative. Anytime your writing sounds like you, you, the author, are intruding.

I also explained how, when you “show” instead of “tell,” you are only going to show what your POV character is thinking and feeling in any given moment. And those things must be in context. Meaning, the events transpiring should organically trigger those thoughts and reactions and be pertinent to what is going on.

But there is so much more to deep POV, and in this post we’re going to look at some more issues to help you understand and master this imporant technique of being deep in POV.

Today’s readers want to be immersed in our stories. Unlike in the past, when most novels were heavy on narrative, backstory, and explanation, today’s great novels are all about show, don’t tell. And that requires going deep into characters’ heads. Continue Reading…

The Nuances of Deep POV – Part 1

Writers hear a lot about point of view and, in particularly, deep POV.

What is deep POV? It’s being inside one character’s head, and, in fiction, there are some current “rules” that fiction writers are urged to follow.

Rules aside, there is a lot of failure to stick with deep POV, and that’s because many writers don’t understand what it truly means.

Think about it this way. You have a body in space, with numerous sensory receptors. Most people can see, hear, touch, taste, and feel things around them. People think in their heads about things—perhaps processing what is happening to them and around them, possibly thinking about the past or future while being somewhat aware of their body in space, or are impaired in some way as they attempt to think or process.

You, in your body, can take note of what is around you and inside you. And you are limited by your ability to observe and process those things. You are limited by, for example, your age. If you’re three years old, you don’t have either the vocabulary or the ability to understand abstract thought. If you’re older and demented, you will have particular limitations to what you can understand and process. Continue Reading…

5 Components of a Perfect Scene

A lot of writers sit down to write a scene with a general idea of what they want to have happen (action) in the story. But to create a perfect scene, you need to consider a whole lot more than that.

Novels are a string of scenes, so they need to connect together beautifully like a strand of pearls.

Of course every scene needs to serve a specific purpose in your story, and the type of scene should be determined by where the scene falls in a story and what type of action preceded. If your character just experienced something startling, this new scene needs to show her reaction or how she processes this new turn of events.

Some scenes are low energy, comtempletive scenes. Others are high energy, full of action and fast developments. But if most of your scenes are the same type, they’ll get tedious to readers. Be sure you learn what the ten key scenes are and how to fill in around those scenes with proper action-reaction. You can use my handy chart to help you lay out those scenes (but be sure to study Layer Your Novel).

5 Essential Components

Let’s say you know exactly what the purpose of your scene will be. You may have your protagonist’s best friend turn on him. You may want to introduce an accident or some violence to upend things. You may be bringing a love interest on stage, or have an ally try to stop your character from making a bad decision. Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 6012345»102030...Last »