Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guest Blogger, Nancy Stewart Visits Write What Inspires You!

A full month into 2013 Nancy Stewart and I are back into the swing of exchanging monthly guest posts. Nancy visits with today to share her tips and expertise on "Deep Point of View: What is It?" 

Welcome Nancy! 

Deep Point of View:  What is It?

by Nancy Stewart

Deep Point of View?  What is it?  Never heard of it. 

These are the kinds of answers I get many times when I mention this technique of writing. I thought it just may be time to discuss this effective way of truly getting into one's character's head and staying there.  It's time to give the pesky narrator the boot!  Goodbye author intrusion.

Deep Point of View, sometimes called Close Third Person, can be used with First Person as well and is a writing style in great demand these days.

The reader climbs into their protagonist's skin—tasting, feeling, hearing, smelling what they do.  Deep POV is a skill that must be learned, like anything else. But the four tips below are a great place to start.

Tip 1: Delete the phrase "s/he saw.

Obviously not every use of the word saw (observed, noticed, wondered etc.) will be slashed. But go through your manuscript looking for lines like these:

Olivia smiled at her uncle. She saw that he was really into it now. 

And change to:

Olivia smiled at her uncle. He was really into it now. 

State the action only. Saw always distance the reader. Bring the reader up close instantly.

Tip 2: What words would you say in the manuscript?

Use realistic internal dialogue. What you would say to yourself if you were living the scene, then replace the pronouns with "s/he" (unless you're writing in first person, of course.)

The knife’s blade rubbed her throat. The metal felt so cold.  She had to stay still and keep from blinking. She was panicked. 

Deep Point of View:  The knife's blade rubbed her throat.  Why was the metal so cold?  Sweat dripped into her eyes, burning them.  What does it feel like to die?

Tip 3: Don't label emotions

This is classic show vs. tell but is vital to Deep POV. Delete from your mind the name we give to an emotion and force yourself to describe it.  What physical movements would show the emotion without naming it?

Example: Anger 

Olivia was angry.

Becomes:   Olivia's eyes became slits. 

Tip 4: Physiological responses     
Once you lay out some strong internal dialogue and remove emotion labels, follow up with physiological responses. Depending on the situation, these might be:  knees buckling, chest tightening, throat clamping, an adrenaline rush, goose bumps, nausea, dizziness, sweating, etc. Describe them! This will really pull the reader deep into the story, particularly in high-intensity moments.

Example:  Excessively hot

Olivia was too hot.

Becomes:  If only Olivia could remove the enormous blanket of heat bearing down on her.  Breathing hard, sweat poured from her body and dried quickly.  "We all have to drink, or we're not gonna make it."  A frog's croak.  Was that her voice?

I hope this post has encouraged you to throw out all the distance-making words in your manuscript.  Let yourself be invisible. Allow your protagonist to shine through those pages. You'll be happy and so will your readers!  

I invite you to visit Nancy at to learn more about her personally and her illustrious writing career -

Nancy, thank you for visiting with me today and my readers. It is always a true pleasure and wonderful learning experience.

Warmest regards,


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. It is wonderful to be back on your blog, Donna. Thanks for your kind words, and I wish your readers well!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      My apologies for my late check-in. Delighted to host you today and I found your article full of terrific information and tips. Thank you.

      Best regards,

  2. Thank you for a wonderful post, Nancy and Donna. I learned a lot!

    1. Great, Melissa. So glad to hear it. Such a fun way to write, for both the author and audience!

    2. Melissa,

      Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Nancy. Yes, wonderful post...worthy of printing and referring to.

      Best regards,

  3. Great article Nancy. Very helpful and concise. I pinned it to my "Manuscript Critiques" board on Pinerest.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

    1. Such a nice compliment coming from you, Margot! And thank you so much for sending it on...

    2. Hi Margot,

      Thanks for visiting and for you pin, much appreciated!

      Best regards,

  4. Excellent post, Nancy. Deep point of view is definitely a learned art. I knew a publisher who taught a class in it.

    Thanks for the great examples.


    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Glad you enjoyed Nancy's post. What a great topic for class! Thanks for visiting.

      Best regards,

    2. It certainly is, Cheryl, and worth every minute of frustration in learning it! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Replies
    1. Glad you liked the post, Janet! Thanks.

  6. The examples are perfect - makes the writing rules 'come to life.'

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I appreciate it and hope the post is helpful.


Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my writing career.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.