Using Deep POV In Limited Third Person

by Lisa Hall-Wilson

This was a question that showed up in my totally free Facebook group. What if you discover deep POV too restrictive? What if deep POV does not fit your storytelling style or the category youre composing?

Thats OKAY. Deep POV is a stylistic tool, you use the tool at your discretion. I like to say I can utilize a wrench to pound in a nail, itll be uncomfortable and take longer but it works. Why use a wrench when a hammer is made for that task– unless youre making a point by utilizing a wrench!

Goals …

What Do You Want To Achieve In A Given Scene?

Pinpoint where you desire the high feeling minute( s) to be in the scene or in the wider story. Where do you desire the reader to actually lean into the story mentally or feel the boost in tension? Where do you want to slow the speed of the story since this will increase tension and have the reader leaning in and paying closer attention.

What effect are you looking to create for readers? You choose if you use deep POV for a paragraph or an entire scene within minimal third person.

Deep POV is a tool, so use it where it will have the best effect. Deep POV can ratchet up the psychological stress, slow the speed, and pull the reader in close to experience the characters inner dispute.

The Zoom Lens

Limited Third person catches the scene above– a woman alone in a dark street rushing to catch a bus.

Sally rushes toward the bus stop at the corner. The structures loom high on each side of the street, the darkness attempting to swallow the weak light from a single swinging bulb. A loud crash fills the alley, a trashcan knocked over.

Deep POV focuses very close so the reader just understands, feels, sees, discovers– what the POV character knows, feels, sees, finds out, and so on. The reader gets an unfiltered appearance into the characters head and what theyre feeling.

There isnt a right or incorrect angle. What story do you desire to tell?

Each of us writers are like movie directors and get to choose the angle we desire to capture a scene with. Omniscient POV would capture the large vistas and panorama shots of everything. The restaurant where she works, the kids at house with the sitter, the bus downing towards the bus stop and her examining her watch, AND the guy lurking near the trashcan in the street.

Lets Go Deep

Remove emotion words.
Remove narrative distance.
Remove narration.
Keep it immediate.
REVEAL dont inform.
Compose internal dialogue as though the character is alone in their own heads.

This last example put the emphasis on the environment and utilizing her understanding of the alley to show the reader how she feels and after that fact is juxtaposed versus her actions which are quickly displayed in restricted third person.

Sally rushes towards the bus stop at the corner. The structures loom high on each side of the street, the darkness attempting to swallow the weak light from a single swinging bulb. A loud crash fills the street, a trashcan knocked over. Her heart hammers versus her chest and her fingers shiver. A dark giant-man sized shape comes towards her. She turns toward the diners back entrance. Locked shut. Run! Sally waves her arms and chews out those waiting to hold the bus for her.

She focuses on the bust stop at the corner and walks at a clipped pace. A loud crash fills the street, a trashcan knocked over. Shes simply being paranoid, she believes, however she takes off at a jog for the bus stop.

The emphasis here is on her internal dispute. Lets attempt another.

You actually do not require a LOT of space to do that. You can do this with a single sentence, a paragraph, numerous paragraphs, an entire chapter.

To insert Deep POV into a close 3rd person story, understand the essentials of deep POV.

Lets look a number of methods we might insert deep POV into this example paragraph.

Sally leans into the heavy metal door and squeezes out through the little opening out into the alley. The buildings loomed over her, crowding the alley and shutting out the light.

Sally hurries toward the bus stop at the corner. The structures loom high on each side of the alley, the darkness trying to swallow the meager light from a single swinging bulb. If she ever sees him once again.

A loud crash fills the street, a trashcan knocked over. She turns towards the sound and pauses. Sally takes off at a jog for the bus stop, waving her arms and yelling at those waiting to hold the bus for her.

Do you see the shift in POVs? Its not essential that readers SEE it, but moreso that they FEEL it.

The Switch Should Be Seamless For Readers

What concerns do you have about utilizing deep POV in a close third person (or minimal third person) story? Lisa is responding to POV concerns down in the remarks.

The shift in camera angles need to go undetected by readers. The reader does not require to be able to articulate what you did or how you did it, simply how it made them feel.

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About Lisa

Lisa Hall-Wilson is a nationwide acclaimed freelance journalist and author who loves mentoring writers. Fascinated by history, dream, love, and faith, Lisa blends those enthusiasms into historical and historical-fantasy books. Discover Lisas blog site, Beyond Basics for intermediate authors, at www.lisahallwilson.com.

Leading Image by Uwe Kern from Pixabay

Related

What if you discover deep POV too limiting? What if deep POV doesnt fit your storytelling style or the category youre composing?

Deep POV is a stylistic tool, you utilize the tool at your discretion. You choose if you use deep POV for a paragraph or an entire scene within restricted 3rd individual.

Do you see the shift in POVs?

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