This is an ongoing series about using the writing technique – deep point of view. The original posts began over last summer after I attended a webinar on the subject. Previous are listed at the end of this post.
I’ve recently been revising my upcoming novel in preparation for sending the manuscript to my editor. As part of the process of developing deeper POV I want to revise the following:
1. Remove most, if not all, dialog tags so they are associated contextually with the speaking character.
2. Remove most, if not all, thinking tags and replace them with internalization or emotional cues.
3. Remove all internal dialog and replace with internalization.
4. Find as many prepositional “tellers” as possible and remove them. I supplied some examples of what these look like in a previous post listed below.
I thought that I would need to slog through each chapter or scene to find everything that needs to be done but this process proved to be arduous rather than running searches.
1. First tip: run searches to start finding all the problems quickly. The point is to move along and read in depth at a later stage. I delayed too long in following this simple editing hack and letting my editor find deeper issues to fix.
2. I started by running a search for dialog tags. I looked for the word “said” and determined whether it needed to be removed. I also searched for ‘ ,” ‘ in order to find all other dialog tags. By finding these I could edit these out as needed.
3. While I looked at dialog tags I also visually scanned nearby to identify other needed changes with thinking tags to insert internalization and places to insert emotional cues (both internal and external for the POV character, external for other characters). I also looked for other types of distance like viewing words that could be removed in order to show action around the character. However, further searches for thinking words can be found and edited.
4. I originally used some internal dialog so I had to correct for tense. I did searches for the words “I”, “me”, “my” and “we” to make sure tense was corrected.
5. As part of going deeper with POV and inserting emotional cues I looked for “teller” prepositions that describe, or tell, emotional state. These I’m able to find and replaced with emotional cues and internalization.
6. There remain some issues with sentences that have incorrect order or that lack linear progress. This is where scanning around my target searches helps since I can spot these issues and correct them. However, searching for the words “when”, “as” and “while” helps find these problems also if they still exist.
This helped me get to the various issues I wanted to resolve in a quicker fashion than otherwise. I expect the deeper round edits from the editor to find more issues but I’m further along than otherwise. The main point is that there are searches to use that get at many of the issues rather quickly. However, you must know what it is you are looking for to locate them without bogging down too much. Some of these are well-known shortcuts among writers and editors, I’ve just listed some that help me get to deep POV.
Here are previous posts based on deep POV that may help:
And of course here are more resources for deep POV and showing emotion rather than telling:
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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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