Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing Wednesday--Deep POV with Monique DeVere

Hi Everyone! I'd like you all to give a warm welcome to my friend, Monique DeVere. Monique writes romance novels that are romantic and emotion filled (but no far...:) She's recently self-published for the first time (after publishing several books with traditional publishers). Monique's books are filled with the sort of emotion that makes you go "ahhh" when the hero professes his love so I've asked her to share with us about writing deep point of view which brings the emotional level of her books to steamy levels. 

Let’s Go Deep... POV, that is!

I remember many years ago—when I was a novice writer—a CP from my first online crit group suggested I go Deep Point Of View (POV).


I had no idea what she could possibly have meant and, since she didn’t offer any suggestions, I was at a total lost. It took a while for me to figure out what deep point of view was, but once I discovered this deeper way of writing, I haven’t looked back.

So, what exactly is Deep POV?
It’s a technique authors use to get into their characters' minds so that the invisible narrator completely disappears. Your stories become more like watching movies than reading novels. The reader forgets she’s reading a book! Without deep pov the reader always has a vague awareness of the narrator, even if the author tries hard to make her/himself invisible. The only way to eliminate this unseen narrator is to go deep pov.

How do you get into Deep pov?

You need to burrow your way into the depths of your character’s mind, and live through them. You need to hear their thoughts, feel their emotions, experience their dreams, and then illustrate this to your reader. When you do that, your reader merges into your story and experiences your character’s life as if it’s hers, which increases her reading pleasure immensely.

If you think of writing in first person, you’ll instantly write differently because you’ll narrow your focus to a single, specific point. What I mean is, once we think in first person we automatically become the character. When we think in the third person, we retell someone else’s tale. I’m not suggesting you write in first person in order to achieve deep pov, I’m simply encouraging you to think that way because it makes a difference to the way you write. 

Why bother?

I’ll tell you why! When you make the effort to write in deep POV, you tighten your story and draw the reader right into the book. You make her live your story. You will also rid yourself of the “show, don’t tell” problem many writers encounter. You know the sort of things I’m referring to—he/she saw, felt, heard, smelled, thought, decided...and the list goes on.

Stick to deep, active POV, and your character will never say things like, she heard the door slam—but rather, somewhere upstairs in the dark, musty house, a door slammed shut.

Here are some quick rules to ensure you are writing in Deep POV.

Your character can’t know anything s/he doesn’t feel, touch, experience, see, taste, smell, hear, sense, and think. She can’t know that her eyes sparked with temper. She can, however, know that the hero makes her want to throw something at him. She can even grab the cool, glass vase from the table next to her and debate whether she could live without the solid family heirloom. 

Another example is something like: Jessica fumbled with her keys; she thought she heard footsteps behind her. The keys fell from her nervous fingers. She bent to pick them up, and someone grabbed her from behind.

How about we go deep with something like: Jessica wrapped her coat tighter around her as she strode across the almost deserted car park at the back of her office building. Cold fog had drifted in late afternoon, dragging down the already dank weather and giving the car park an eerie atmosphere that brought out all sorts of creepy sounds and shadows. A sense of unease crept over her, encouraging Jess to up her pace. Each breath she exhaled frosted in front of her as she dug her hands in her jacket pocket and drew out her car keys.

Why hadn’t she parked closer? 

Tomorrow, sound diet advice or not, she was parking right next to the building’s front entrance. So what if she didn’t add those extra steps the diet mag promised would help her to shift the five pounds she put on over Christmas? She’d rather be safe that trek across this car park in the dark again tomorrow.  

An empty bottle clattered on the asphalt somewhere to her left, snapping her out of her thoughts and she glanced toward the sound.


 Not that she could see beyond the sparse circles of dim light floating down from the few lamp poles in the car park. When did it get so dark? Jess glanced around again. A few cars remained in the lot, scattered here and there, but hers was right at the very end where she’d parked in her effort to give herself the greatest calorie-burning walking distance.

Damn, she hated how easily she spooked. Quickening her steps, she huddled further inside her coat. Great, she’d managed to scare herself. She wanted to run, but forced her feet to keep an even pace. Then an empty can bounced on the ground behind her as if someone had kicked it. Her heart leaped 

and, without a backward glance, she took off. Jess was not a brave woman, and she saw no reason to change that character trait this instant, because there was no way in hell she imagined someone kicking that can!

Her car seemed twice as far as it had been only seconds ago.

Heavy footfalls hammered behind her and she didn’t dare look back.

Heart pounding so hard she could barely breathe, she fumbled with her keys, trying to find the fob. It had a personal alarm button that would set off her car alarm if she could only find it. In her frantic key search and mad dash to the safety of her car, her bag slipped off her shoulder, almost tripping her. She paused, reached for it, wasting crucial seconds, but she needed it. The thing was heavy enough to cause some damage if she used it as a weapon. The footfall closed in and, in a split-second decision, she left the bag and tore across the car park toward her car.

The person behind her must have picked up speed because a large man-shaped shadow overtook her, someone else’s breath besides hers frosted the air, and a blast of stale sweat stench shot up her frozen nostrils. Lungs screaming for mercy, Jess pumped her arms faster. Wasn’t that what you were supposed to do if you wanted to run faster? Or was that pump your legs quicker?  Lord, help me and I promise—

A big leather-gloved hand clamped over her mouth, her keys flew out of her hand, and an enormous arm snaked around her ribcage, crushing the breath out of her as her attacker swung her off her feet.

He clutched her hard against his huge body. “Did you think you would outrun me?” His harsh laugh drilled into her eardrum. 

Do you see the difference? First of all you add a lot more words when you go Deep POV. If you compare these two examples, I hope you’ll notice how much 

Just remember, stick to only what your POV character can touch, taste, see, experience, smell, hear, feel, sense, or think. Remember also to depict each character only through another character’s pov, 

and use all of your human senses to create a reflection of real-life.

If you do this, you’ll significantly improve you writing skills.


Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run wild. She spent her teen years in the UK where she still lives with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful children, and two incredible grandkids.
Monique wrote her first novel at age fifteen but had her heart set on becoming a doctor until she discovered that raising her kids was far more desirable. Since writing had always been her favourite pastime, she naturally turned to writing as her preferred job and has had short stories published and read on radio.
Sure that medicine is her second calling, she still has a desire to heal, and has gained degrees in Homeopathy and Herbalism and currently has her eye on a Holistic Nutrition degree course.
However, her first love will always be writing. She loves to create fun, emotional romances and movie scripts. Her stories come in three categories: sweet, sensual, and sizzling Rom-Coms.
Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her website: or blog: to learn more about her and check out her other books.


Title: More Than Friends
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Theme: Friends to Lovers
Logline: She just broke the Best Friends’ Code of Honour!



She just broke the Best Friends’ Code of Honour!

What do you do when your best friend’s fella dumps her?
You get drunk, catch a cab to his place, offer to bop him on the nose, then... sleep with him?

Lily Harper should have taken her secret attraction to Justin Knight into consideration before rushing to his swanky apartment. Now she’s caught in a dilemma. Lose her best friend, or the out-of-this-world sexy guy who could be The One.

Justin fell for Lily almost from the moment he met her, but she was with someone else and he'd  just started seeing her best friend. Now Lily is available, and so is he, only, he isn’t having much luck making her see that sometimes when loyalties collide, a girl has to choose love!



“The fact of the matter is—” he nuzzled her ear “—I’m going to kiss you and every guy in this place is going to go wild with envy because I’m the lucky sod who gets to do it.”
Lily sucked in a breath, missed a step. He was making love to her, disguised as a dance. People were beginning to take an interest.  He’d made her a spectacle.
“Justin, people are watching.”
“Sweetheart, that’s nothing new, they’ve been riveted from the moment you first walked in the room.”
“Are you sweet talking me?”
He pulled back, his gaze darkening.  “Only if it’s working.” While his hand caressed her back where the dressed dipped, he stroked his other thumb against her palm.
Goose bumps raised her flesh. Oh, it was working. That and the off-the-wall chemistry between them. Every part of her craved his touch.
He turned her, dipped his head, and took the kiss he’d warned her he was going to take. It was as if everything stood still, the room, the hum of conversation, the mellow music, Lily’s heart—everything.


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  1. Hi, Celeste!

    It's lovely to be here today! I'm looking forward to hanging out with you and your audience.:)

  2. Great post, Monique! You're really making yourself visible online. Good for you!

  3. "Deep POV" is a new term to me. I googled it and looked at a few articles. I'm not entirely sure I get it (maybe because I tend to write in first-person), but I like the idea. Isn't this what we used to call third-person limited POV?

    What I find difficult is introducing information as the narrator's opinion that can be flawed or skewed, especially out of self-interest. Do you have any thoughts about Deep POV and the unreliable narrator?

  4. Great examples, Monique. Deep POV was a huge stumbling block for me until I began writing in first person. I did it as an exercise recommended to me by another writer and ended up finding my voice in writing YA fiction from a first person POV. I was also able to go back and salvage a YA Romantic suspense that needed to be told in third person but needed revision to deepen POV. Thanks for sharing this. It always helps to see it one more time. I'm afraid I still get stuck with telling too much:-)

  5. Great job, Monique. You made some great points. I almost wish I hadn't learned about deep POV as a writer because, as a reader, now I notice it all the time. lol
    -R.T. Wolfe

  6. Excellent post; outstanding timing. I've just begun my ninth novel and am struggling with POV. I've usually write in first person, and have made one attempt at third person limited. I wasn't satisfied with my third person novel, but the concept of Deep POV is intriguing. It could be just what I need -- write in third; think in first. Thank you for the suggestion and example. Very well done.

  7. Good Morning! You folks are all up early...or do you just live in a different part of the world? Lots of new visitors too...great to see you all. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.

  8. Great post and always something to keep in mind. Telling is easy to slip into so a reminder is great.

  9. Great post, Monique! I've heard so much about deep POV and look forward to using some of your tips to improve my WIP. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi Monique! (*Waving* to a fellow islander) I grew up in the Virgin Islands.

    Your points about deep POV are so true, and it's good to get reminders because it really does take the storytelling to another level - as your example showed. Best wishes for success self-publishing!

  11. Aww, Chicki!

    Thanks for the feedback. I have you to thank for encouraging me!! So happy you stopped by.

    Hugs x

  12. Awesome post, Monique!

    I agree that using deep POV is crucial to sucking the reader into your story. Thanks for the great reminder.

    Best of luck with your sales!

  13. Governingana,

    Thanks so much for your question. I shall try to answer as best as I can.

    First person POV is the perfect POV for understanding, and perfecting, Deep POV. The difference between the two is one uses I the other uses he/she.

    Deep POV is actually third person subjective and allows the author to depict a story through several characters viewpoints—one at a time.

    Deep POV is about getting rid of the omniscient narrator and giving the job solely to your POV character. Yes, the pov character can be, and should be, flawed, skewed and of total self-interest (otherwise we have no character arc). Let’s look at it this way. I know what is going on in my head, what emotions I’m experiencing right now, what I can see, hear, sense, smell etc. You know these things about yourself also, but neither of us knows what each other is experiencing. We can only operate from our own understanding.

    This is what Deep pov is. As an author, it’s our job to convince the reader that what our POV character thinks is how it is...that is until we switch POV character and see things from another character’s view point.

    Third person subjective allows the writer a bit more freedom than first person does, but not as much as third person omniscient would. Unfortunately, third person omniscient distances the reader and keeps him/her conscious that s/he’s only reading a book. You want her/him to feel like s/he’s watching a movie.

    This is the difference between third person pov and third person deep pov.

    An example would be:

    3rd person: Amanda curled her top lip in disgust. Simon was doing it again, she fumed silently. He was watching Sally with fascination every time she tossed her long, blonde hair and giggled.

    What an idiot, Amanda thought. Didn’t he know all those lustrous curls were fake?

    3rd person deep: Amanda’s top lip edged up as she eyed Simon. He was doing it again. Every time Sally tossed her long, blonde hair, and giggled like the empty-head she was, his eyes bugged out.

    The idiot couldn’t even tell that all those lustrous curls were fake!

    Hope this helped :)

    1. Thank you for such a fantastic reply, Monique! I see what you are getting at. I wonder, however, what advantage there is to writing in deep POV versus simply using first-person POV. Is it the ability to distance from individual character?

      Are there books that only use deep POV, and are there reasons not to do so?

      While writing in deep POV (let's say that you don't switch to other characters' perspectives), are there any special techniques to signal that the character is interpreting out of self-interest? I can see it in your example, but I find it hard to define for myself.

      Thank you for the great information!

      Anastasia Vitsky (I keep forgetting that my name doesn't show up when I use open ID)

    2. Hi again, Anastasia, and thanks for taking the time to pop back to my blog to let me know you enjoyed this post.

      I'm planning to tackle a different writing craft topic in a weekly "Pull up a chair with Mon" series. So please keep an eye out for these. The first one went up on my blog last week. I was talking about self-editing and giving a great tip to use before sending you MS off.

      Sorry, I digressed :D

      To answer your question, POV is simply a matter of choice. Some authors prefer writing in first person because that's where they find their voices and story stride.

      Some, like myself, far prefer writing in third person. It doesn't really matter which you use, just as long as you take full advantage of the craft.

      As for changing POVs in first person, Celeste will be great at answering that one because I believe she's presently doing just that in her new WIP.

      I don't write in first person, I only think that way LOL.

      CELESTE, want to jump in here? :)

      Anastasia, you asked: Are there books that only use deep POV, and are there reasons not to do so?

      My answer: It's not the books that are deep POV, but the technique the author used when s/he wrote the book. Again, it's a matter of preference. Some authors are great with Deep POV and some are eternally old fashioned in their approach to writing. Or what I would call old school.

      Deep POV became fashionable about 30 or so years ago, but there are still lots of books you will read where the author uses a lot of telling and out-of-date methods.

      So, you see it's the way you tell it!

      I don't think there's ever a reason not to go deep POV unless, perhaps, you're writing the villain and don't want the reader to guess who s/he is before you're ready to do the unveil.

      But even then, you're still in deep pov within the villain's head, you're just not using his name. Which is perfectly logical since we don't usually think "hey Monique must get this answered so she can go say hello to her husband, who just walked in the door after a 12hr work day." I'd think in terms of "I" need to go and do that.

      The techniques you can use to portray another character's emotions is reaction. Body language and speech. Look around you, observe the people you come into contact with. How do you know when something you just said has ticked off the person you were speaking to?

      You can let the viewpoint character lead the reader to the right conclusion. Your pov character doesn't know for sure, but she can surmise, which will help the reader to conclude what you want her to conclude about what the non-pov character might be thinking etc.

      Does this help? :/ I hope so, cos I think I rambled lol :)

    3. I misread your first bit and thought you were having a "pull up a chair with MoM" sessions. :) 30 years ago, really? I wonder why I haven't encountered it before. I will have to give this a try!

      I will also be sure to check out your writing posts. Thank you for all of the information and advice! (Thanks for hosting, Celeste!)

  14. PJ, some habits are so hard to break, aren't they?

    RT, I hear you! Reading can be hard work sometimes. I often catch myself rewording what I'm reading so it reads smoother in my head--and I wonder why it takes me so long to finish a book LOL.

    James, thanks for stopping by! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the post. Hope it helps. Yes, that's my writing motto--write in 3rd person, think in first! :)

  15. Cora, you're very welcome!

    Sharon, I can't wait to hear how you get on. Please drop me an email and let me know!

    Delaney, hey girl! (*waving* back). Thank you for your kind wishes :):)

  16. Lynda, thanks for stopping by and for the luck! ;)

  17. Great article, and you really pulled me into your example.

    1. Janice,

      Thanks for the feedback. It's always lovely to hear you've achieved your goal :)

  18. Great post Celeste and Monique. I am learning constantly!

  19. Hey Celeste & Monique :)

    Excellent post, Monique!

    I thoroughly enjoyed More Than Friends and everything about it, from the wonderful characters to the absorbing writing!

    Good luck. Wishing you lots of success.

    P.S. That example had me completely hooked. I hope it's the start of something new :)

    1. Hi, April,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I know you're busy with the new releases! :)

      Sadly, no, the example above is simply nothing more than a quick illustration to make a point. It might be cool to serialise it on my blog, though...'ve got me thinking now. But would anyone wish to read more? Perhaps I'll put it to a vote.

      BTW, I'm thrilled you enjoyed More Than Friends!

  20. Wow! What great comments. Thank you Monique for the great info and for your thoughtful responses to the comments.

  21. Thanks for hosting me, it was a blast!!

    Hugs xox

  22. Wow, what a great post. Thanks, Monique! I bookmarked this one!


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