Most everyone remembers the Sesame Street character Grover showing the difference between near and far. He used to pull all kinds of stunts to get the point across. He would lunge close to the camera and then go to great extremes to go the distance to show far. In the same way your writing should be “near and far”?
Deep POV is an outstanding technique to bring your readers near your character. This mode of writing can be very gripping and keep your readers turning pages. You can enhance deep POV with regular use of emotional cues salted into the internalization. Showing emotions can add that extra punch to your writing and you need that power to keep readers interested. Actors work hard for deep characterization and so should writers.
But there are times to be distant with your writing – even in short stories. Distance means you are relying on description. To do this you must be willing to use your writing to pan out like a camera and show wider angles to what’s going on in your story. But when should you use this technique? Here are a few instances:
1. Start a story or chapter with a wide angle and then pan into a deeper focus that drops readers into your character’s POV. This is frequently used and you may not realize it though your were caught up in the book and turned the pages.
- Fight scenes are another great place to widen the angle of your prose. The more people in the fight, the more you can back out and use description. This is requires a different kind of distance which I’m working on now with my own book. The fight should flow but not be caught up in cloying details. If there are details, they should be distinctive for later use. Instead focus on consistent action that isn’t too abrupt but also isn’t overdone. The results should allow you to drop back into deep POV with all the emotions for riveting effect.
Work “near and far” to your advantage so your story won’t flag. Do it well and your readers may shower you with enthusiastic reviews that help sell books.
Is your prose near or far? What tips do you have for varying POV distance in your writing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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