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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Deep POV~ What Is It?

Recently, I saw someone explaining showing as deep POV, which it isn't. The example was:

She saw a truck drive by the house.
Deep POV is: a truck drove past the house.

That's not deep POV. That's the difference between showing and telling.

Deep POV is writing from inside the character's head, making the reader privy to his or her thoughts. What it isn't, or in my mind shouldn't be is long internal monologues. I prefer action, which is probably why I'm not a fan of literary fiction.

Now before y'all tar and feather me, let me say I love parts of literary fiction. I love a literary turn of a phrase and will read some to study it. But I don't read literary for pleasure.

Back to the action. Pulling an excerpt from my sophomore novel, Chapel Springs Survival, my main character, Claire, and her husband, Joel, have just found out her nineteen year old son, Wes, has married a 21st Century mail order bride...from Brazil. One who is eight years older than he. This is the exchange.

Joel squatted next to her. "Are you okay?"
She'd never be okay. Not now. Wes dropped to his knees in front of her.
"Mom, I'm sorry. I ... I don't know what to say. I didn't want to tell you until Costy was here and you got to meet her."

Costy? Claire groaned. She didn't want to meet her. What kind of name was that anyway? Costly was probably more like it. "Does this girl even speak English?"

"Uh-uh, not yet."
Her son married someone he couldn't even talk to?

You've been privy to Claire's thoughts without me using "she thought" or "she wondered." Those tags take the scene out of deep POV, while still remaining in the character's POV. 

That said, sometimes, I use thought or wondered. When? When it sounds better. As with all elements of fiction, there are times to employ them and times to hire a temp and change it up.

So, how do you feel about deep POV? I know some people hate it and some love it. What about you?

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist - all providing a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest. 


  1. Oh, Ane. You know me. I absolutely ADORE deep POV. And you nailed it, too!


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  3. Thanks, Julie. It's funny, that's how I've almost always written, at least since my second manuscript. lol That first one was a learning adventure.

  4. Ane,

    A great post. Thank you!

    I'm not a big fan of deep POV. I don't really care what the characters are thinking.

    I am a big fan of George MacDonald, a Scottish author from the 1800s. He wrote omniscient POV to perfection and his storytelling speaks to my soul.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  5. Carrie, the old novelists did omniscient very well. I love that his storytelling speaks to you soul. :)

  6. Deep POV is the way to go. I'm a BELIEVER!
    J.A. Marx

  7. Thanks, JA. I love deep POV. I love to experience the story with the characters when I read.

  8. Good post, Ane. I'm a great fan of deep POV, and I use mostly shorter things like you do, but occasionally, because of some event, I do use more deep POV.

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  10. Thanks, Lena. And I've used longer internal monologue at times, too. It all depends on what the story dictates. :)


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