Deep POV Tips Part 4: Of Sneaks and Shallow POV

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

Last month I attended a webinar the subject of which was deep third person POV and I then started this series. Part 1 (including links to other deep POV resources),   Part 2 & Part 3 of this series are available if you want to catch-up on the topic. As promised, here are more tips gleaned from the presentation that you may find helpful as I know they will be for me.

Sam: What are you up to? Sneaking off, are we?
Gollum: Sneaking? Sneaking? Fat Hobbit is always so polite. Smeagol shows them secret ways that nobody else could find, and they say “sneak!” Sneak? Very nice friend. Oh, yes, my precious. Very nice, very nice.
Sam: All right, all right! You just startled me is all. What were you doing?
Gollum: Sneaking.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

There’s often a sneak creeping through writing that hurts deep POV. It’s pervasive and slowly sucks the life, excitement and tension from a book like Gollum with a filched egg.

Gollum: [singing] The rock and pool, is nice and cool, so juicy sweet. Our only wish,
[he whacks the fish on the rock]
Gollum: to catch a fish,
[another whack]
Gollum: so juicy sweet.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Before you know it, the sneak is stealing all the fish in your writing and singing about it while you go blithely along with the story.

Be careful of the sneak! Don’t let him follow you from that log in the river! Beware lest you find your work rife with all kinds of sneaky, thieving, well you know…

So what’s so sneaky in deep POV and how can it be fixed? Prepositions. But not just any old prepositions, just the sneaky ones. Preposition are necessary except for those that express emotion.

Here are some shallow/deep examples our presenter, Delia Latham, used in her presentation, “Demystifying Deep POV”:

Sneaks in Writing

Sneaky Prepostion Examples

See the sneaks and how they work little bits of mischief in the narrative? Yet in the deeper examples there’s more lively, creative expression.

Have you got sneaks in your writing? Share how you root them out in by leaving a comment.

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Thanks for reading!


BOD FinalAbout the Author

P. H. SolIMG_4154-Editomon 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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Getting Graphic with Your Novel

It’s always good to get questions as an author, especially on Goodreads. As release day for The Bow of Destiny approaches I’m getting a few questions. One that I found interesting goes as follows in the screenshot:

GR Graphic Novel Q

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The Answer

Comic BookHonestly, I never even considered the idea but I am interested in the prospect so I decided to do some quick research on the subject. As it turns out, converting novels to graphic novels is a burgeoning market that even traditional publishers are dipping their publishing feet into. Not only that, but even Marvel is adapting a few novels into the graphic format.

So what’s all the fuss?

The graphic novel audience is enthusiastic and hungry for more content. As a novelist, I’m intrigued since this opens doors to more readers and creates a different income stream for my work. I’m not immediately able to work on such a project with my novel coming out in a few weeks but I’m going to follow-up on the idea.

As noted on a podcast by Joanna Penn with graphic artist/novelist, Nathan Massengill, a novel with pretty good sales might be a good candidate for conversion to the graphic format. I know I’ll strongly consider what I’m going to do with my book based on this information. Most writers will never sell movie rights (let alone actually see it go into production) but the graphic novel avenue is the next best thing.

What does it require?

Here are just a few points from which I’m starting but I’m sure this gets more complex:

  • Well, first you need a good, experienced graphic novelist. As shown above, E. J. Nate has offered to do the work so I’ll review what he’s done and start a dialog with him. If that doesn’t work out then I’ll still investigate the possibility elsewhere.
  • Next comes the ability to actually publish said project. If sales are good enough then I might be able to pay for the project out of income. Otherwise, it could become a crowdsourcing project or a reason to contact an agent given the right circumstances.
  • Related to the graphic artist question and the cost comes rights and payment with the graphic artist. This is where things get different for a self-publisher. You’ll need to come to some agreement with the artist on any shared rights. If there are no rights for the artist then you should be prepared to come to an agreement for the conversion work and the cost per page.
  • If you end up gaining an agent for such an ancillary project as conversion to graphic novel and sign with some sort of publisher, be aware that the finished product may have some differences. Much like movie adaptations a graphic novel may have to change the story some. Also, while you may do all the work of converting the concept as a self-publisher, with a publisher you may end up just overseeing the creative team’s efforts. Either way, do your homework on what this process entails.

Drawing 1Resources

Here are a few more links that might interest you on the subject:

Creating Graphic Novels: Adapting and Marketing Stories for a Multi Million Dollar Industry by Sarah Beach

The difference between graphic novel and comic book.

Graphic Novels: Not Just for Kids by Jane Ammeson via


As one ancillary option for your work, graphic novels can be an interesting prospect to consider. I’ve always been interested in being a hybrid author – being both/either self-published and traditionally published. One goal I’ve had is to attract an agent, especially for negotiating standard rights and tricky ancillary rights for hard copy, audio and foreign language but graphic novels are another piece of the pie to consider. I’ll continue doing my research on this subject and report back on my findings with one or two more posts (most likely in October).

What are your ancillary goals for your novel(s)? Have you considered converting your work to a graphic format? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, September’s FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

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BOD Final Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7

What is Needed, Part 5


Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Author’s Note: This is the conclusion of Part 2 of the prequel blog serial entitled “What is Needed”. Click on these links to read Part 1, Part 2 (first section)Part 2 (Conclusion), Part 3 and Part 4 This series is a companion to The Bow of Destiny (Part 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga). The events of the blog series pre-date those of The Bow of Destiny by several hundred years but include several long-lived characters who appear in the forthcoming novel. This material is copyrighted and not intended for reproduction except at the author’s consent.


What is Needed (Part 5)

by P. H. Solomon

Their chains clanked and scraped the stone floor as the three of them shifted.

Zelma’s resolve slipped into weeping while she clung to Hastra’s hand. “How are we alive?”

“I don’t know.” Hastra touched her blood-stained dress and the hole where the Kregen stabbed her. She ran her finger along the line of her mortal wound but found no blood. Best not probe that further. She withdrew her hand and squeezed Zelma’s with the other.

Howart cleared throat. “It’s the prophecy. We live because of it.”

“Why not the others then?” Hastra chewed her lower lip.

Beyond Zelma, Howart’s chains rattled. “What is needed is given.”

Hastra mumbled the response with Zelma. “But what has been given besides life? We are chained in darkness and useless here.”

“We must wait and see.”

“Perhaps.” He had a better grasp of the moment than she. They might be waiting for the rats to chew them to the bone. She shuddered. Did my heart beat? Would she live through the pain of rat bites? She squeezed Zelma’s hand again. Best not mention anything to her.

The time passed and Hastra dozed. She awoke to rat’s fur brushing her ankle. She kicked with both feet. The rat squealed and it pattered away.

Zelma gasped at Hastra’s commotion. “What’s that?”

“Nothing, just woke from a dream.”

“I heard something running on the floor.”

Hastra jumped as Howart’s deeper voice boomed in the silence. “There are rats in here.”

Zelma’s chains rattled as she pulled her feet closer.

After that Hastra sat awake and waited for the rat to return. Teeth gnawed on boards in the darkness and matched her hunger pangs. At least she still got hungry. She rubbed her raw wound inside her dress. Better than the alternative.

Later, the door’s lock snicked open and woke Hastra. Light shined around the edges of the door. Trolls with food or they’ll drag us before Kregen again. It wasn’t a flickering torch. She stirred and her leg-irons scraped the floor. A rat squealed as it scrabbled away.

Howart and Zelma woke with groans as the door opened. Hastra squinted at the glow and her eyes watered. A silhouette stepped into the doorway. Her chains clicked and fell open. She gasped as the figure with the wide-brimmed hat waved them to the door.

Zelma leaned close grasped Hastra’s arm. “What’s going on? Who’s that?”

Hastra patted her sister’s trembling hand and opened her mouth to speak. The hat – he’s the one who healed me. “I think we should follow.”

Howart kicked his chains away. “Who is it? Why should we follow.”

“First, he’s got a light. Second, he let us loose and third, he healed my leg several months ago.” Hastra struggled to her feet and her knees wobbled.

The stranger moved into the passage beyond the room and the light faded as he walked away.

Howart stumbled to the door. “Hurry, he’s leaving.”

Hastra and Zelma leaned against each other and followed. They stepped into the hall as their rescuer turned a far corner. The three Withlings hobbled after the light past broken doors and intersecting passages that stretched into brooding darkness.

They arrived at the stairwell out of the lower cellar and Howart paused. “This isn’t the way out. It’s back up to Kregen and trolls. Should we risk it?”

Zelma climbed a few steps before she turned back. “Maybe they are gone and this man came to free us.”

Hastra followed her sister. “Stay in the dark but I think we have no other choice.”

They gained the upper cellar and drew near the stair to the keep when the noise of trolls echoed from above them.

Howart stretched his thin arm in the sisters way. “Still here. Where’s he leading us, back to them?”

The man’s light faded and then grew brighter. He waved to them. “Come, it’s safe. There’s food for you.”

Hastra shrugged to Howart and pushed past his out-flung arm. “Think how he set us free without keys. I’m following him. Anyway, he says there’s food.”

Hastra scurried on the stair and the other’s feet scuffed on the stone behind her. They needed the food soon. She’d faint without it. She touched the rent in her dress where Kregen’s knife-blade killed her. There were too many miracles in this since that moment.

The Withlings gained the main level and hustled after the man in the wide-brimmed hat. Lumps lay in the shadows of the unlit main hall.

Hastra’s gaze touched the hand at the moment Zelma gasped and wept. They’re dead, all the Withlings were dead. Fixed stares greeted Hastra wherever she whirled.

Zelma covered her mouth with her hands. Howart gaped and his eyes bulged from their deep hollows. They wound through the hacked bodies until they stood by the door to the dining hall where trolls hooted and snarled.

Their rescuer waved his arm into the room. “Eat, take what you need. When you finish I will show you out.”

Hastra whispered in spite of the din from the trolls. “But we’ll be seen. They’ll kill us.”

The man in the hat pointed to a table where no trolls sat. “I have everything you need prepared. Go on.”

She glanced at her companions and their doubtful expressions. He had set them free without keys. Hastra peeked into the dining hall. The trolls fought and laughed, their tusks and fangs flashed in the light. She’d run if they noticed her. She held her breath and stepped through the doorway.

The trolls never noticed her. Hastra lowered her head and scurried toward the table laden with food. Around her trolls howled their vile glee but none of them even glanced her way.

At the table Hastra snatched food without thinking and shoved it in her mouth. She chewed and groaned. Howart and Zelma joined her and they ate their fill. Howart found sacks into which they shoved the excess for provisions. They returned to the doorway and the man in the hat.

“Follow me.”

Hastra bent and cocked her head as their rescuer strode past her. She never quite saw his face. She hefted her bag and walked behind the sight of his brown coat and hat.

The man in the hat led them to the chapel. Benches and chairs lay overturned and they picked their way through the ruined room.

Their rescuer kicked a pile of broken wood and pointed to a leather-bound book lying spine up and open. He cocked his head to Hastra. “You must take this burden. Write the prophecy in it and all your visions.”

Hastra stumbled through the refuse, knelt and gathered the book to her breast. She blinked tears and nodded. She knew him now. She wiped her sorrow from her cheeks.

“Time to leave.” The man in the hat turned the wreckage. The three surviving Withlings trailed after him.

They followed out the front door but turned to a postern gate down the wall.

Hastra blinked under the gray sky and the brushed her hair across her face. She sucked in a long breath. Clean air. At the gate Hastra paused with her companions.

The man in the hat pushed the gate open. “Go to the old tower if you still serve as Withlings.”

They shuffled out the gate. Here the chill wind snapped their tattered cloaks and bit their faces. Hastra hobbled on the narrow trail beyond the walls of Withling’s Watch.

Zelma’s voice rang in the gusts. “He’s gone. Who was he?”

Hastra cocked her head at the gate and motioned to her sister and Howart. “Come, we’ve a mission to fulfill now. Maybe we’ll see him again.” It’s just us now. “What is needed is given.”

End of Part 5 (Part 6 will be re-posted on 12/20)

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