Sunday, February 5, 2012

Deep POV, as Opposed to -- What? -- Shallow POV?

This weekend, I read a book I wasn’t too impressed with.  Maybe that’s not so unusual, but I was surprised—the premise was great, it put an original spin on a classic story, and it had this amazing line on the cover: “Fantasy just declared war on reality.”  (I won’t tell you the author’s name, but his initials are Frank Beddor.) 
So why didn’t it live up to my expectations?  Maybe a little of it had to do with style, but for the most part, it was because he had issues with head-hopping.  I know I must’ve read books with the same problem before, and maybe even to a larger extent, but this is the first time it’s actually distracted me—I guess I’m getting used to reading books that don’t head-hop.

That got me thinking, I guess, because I went through my notes on blogging points and found this stuff on deep POV:

1.      Go through and eliminate any instances of showing-vs.-telling. Look for “was”s and “felt”s, and figure out if they’re of the offending type, and if so, kill them.  No mercy.
2.     Remember, you can’t see anything your viewpoint character can’t see.  So she might hear the footsteps or feel like she’s being watched, but she knows something or has eyes in the back of her head, she’s not aware of the attacker behind her.  Same thing with the other senses and all kinds of information.  I think it’s easier to stick with this one with first-person POV, but that’s probably because that’s what I write with.
3.     Another thing I don’t like—adverbs on speaker tags.  (Besides them being outlawed anyway.)  Like when a character, who isn’t the MC, “says uncertainly.”  I know adverbs are evil anyway, but besides that, how does the viewpoint character know what the other character’s feeling anyway?  She doesn’t.  So the most you can do is pull a “he sounded worried.”

End of rant.

Anybody ever read any The Looking Glass Wars books?  I think I’m going to read on at some point, because of the aforementioned interesting premise and the fact that I find Dodge’s character growth development interesting.  Any deep POV tips to share? Anybody not hate Mondays?