Monthly Archives: October 2012

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday

SFF Saturday is a group of authors who post snippets of SFF prose and poetry for comment. You can check out other SFF Saturday posts, too.

My snippet is another few lines from a work in progress called Herald (at the moment). Eventually, the project be a fantasy loosely based on the Hundred Years War, but it’s in the very early draft stages.

My first snippet is here and the second is here. These lines follow those.

Denis knelt over another body. So many men, so much blood, and for what? To reclaim land given honorably to a foreign king one hundred years before? He turned the dead man over. The coat beneath the layers of gore and mud lacked heraldry and the clothes were not Revenan–an enemy soldier. This man was neither worthy by the prince’s count, nor one of their own.

The blood of the tiny Angth army should have coated this field–their nobles dead in the mud, feeding blood to the earth. Instead, unnamed Revenan dead would scream their names at the gods tonight.

Heart-sore, Denis climbed to his feet. There were other dead to count, others to name.

“I know his name.”

Categories: SFF Saturday

Deep POV: What it is, What it isn’t, and Why First isn’t Deep POV

Gothic Writing 2

Gothic Writing 2 by Dave Turner

To recap: As part of the In Your Write Mind Workshop I attended in July at Seton Hill University, I gave an hour-long class on Deep Point of View. I thought I might as well turn the class into a series of blog posts. This is the third one.

You can also check out:

What Deep POV is, What it isn’t, and Why First isn’t Deep POV

So what the heck is Deep POV? It’s a form of limited third person POV where the narrator takes on the voice of the character and where the reader is deeply immersed in the characters thoughts and feelings. The reader is riding so close to the character, they might be in his or her skin.

Deep POV does not mean that the character bounces between third person limited and first person italicized thought. It does not mean that every single thought and emotion must be voiced. And Deep POV is not achieved by simply replacing “I”  and “my” in a first person narration with “he/she” and “his/hers.”

So the next question is why can’t you just write a first person scene and replace all the pronouns? First person is, after all, a very immersive POV…

Because a first person narrator/character knows that they’re telling a story to the reader. When you’re deep in limited third person, that character/narrator is unaware they are telling a story. The reader is reading the unfiltered thoughts, emotions, and feelings of that character.

A quote from Alicia Rasley’s The Power of Point of View states this far better than I can:

“This [deep third] is the most intense and intimate POV level, more intimate, in fact, then first-person narration. Why? Because an effective first-person narrator can and probably will lie. In deep-immersion third person, the reader can assume that what’s reported is the deepest of personal truth, at least as far as the character knows.”

For me, this was the single biggest a-ha moment I had when studying Deep POV: First person narrators can be unreliable. They can leave out information, minimize it. They can lie to the reader.

Deep third person narrators cannot lie to the reader. They can lie to themselves, yes… but the reader should and will see through those lies, if the author is truly writing in Deep POV.

Think about how you experience an event. Now think about how you tell someone about that event… do you tell them everything exactly as it occurred? Or do you choose to leave out somethings, maybe change others? If you were terrified, but don’t want your friend to know… you leave those emotions out.

That’s the difference. In First person, the narrator is telling the reader about an event as it happens. In Deep Third, the reader is experiencing the event through the narrator.

I’m going to stop here and let that thought gel for a bit.

Up next: How do you do it?

Categories: Deep POV

Tag! I’m it!

Hope your shots are up to date… I’ve been tagged by David Day in a game of author infection!

The rules are simple. Search your work in progress for the first use of “look”. Copy and paste that paragraph and the ones immediately before and after into a blog post. Then tag five other authors.

This is from the dog draft (rough rough) of the sequel to my finished fantasy novel Duty to the Crown. The sequel currently has the stunning name of Duty, Part II.

Dannel crossed to the door that separated the two rooms. He bent close to the fire and rubbed his gloved hands together. Golden light flickered across the silver embroidery stitched into black leather. Silver. The casual richness of every item still made Peradon’s breath catch. Thank goodness Dannel’s focus was on the fire. Peradon cleared his throat. “My lord?”

Dannel straightened and stepped away from the fireplace. “Well now, you look about as irritated as I feel.”

Peradon schooled his expression. “My apologies.” How irritated did he look?

Off to tag some writers…

Categories: Writing

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