Point of View Depth Workshop - Printable Version
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Point of View Depth Workshop - InkMuse - 02-27-2012 09:49 AM
This is the subject most requested from me, so we're going to give it a go. Check out the article I've done on this first:
After that, I invite you to post 500 words, and I'll give them a POV critique
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - BrandonRLuffman - 02-28-2012 07:32 AM
Here you go! According to Word, this is exactly 500 words. So, I CAN follow directions - sometimes.
Maria stepped in close and he struggled to pull his eyes back to hers. A flowery scent wafted from her hair but there was an undertone of something else – something warm and dark. His breath caught. Can she hear that? Of course she can. The glint in her eye and the crook of her smile showed him that she could.
“So, Michael, what brings you back here on such a beautiful night?” she asked, brushing a drop of rain from his hair. Now he couldn’t pull his eyes away from hers. The raindrop she freed skittered along the curve of his ear, breaking the spell - for a moment at least. The urge to shiver was only suppressed by the knowledge that any show of weakness now would be deadly.
“You know me, always showing up at the most inconvenient times.” He nodded toward the still form of Beatrice, on the floor near the open window. The rain was beading on her open eyes. Michael’s tongue felt like sandpaper against the roof of his mouth as he tried to swallow.
“Oh, that. Yes, it’s all rather unfortunate, isn’t it? I liked her, you know, but she shouldn’t have come here. Not tonight, especially.” Maria never took her eyes off of his, but her smile was slightly less vulpine. At last, she turned and sauntered over toward the window, her swaying movement hypnotic.
The rough hilt of the silver dagger shifted under the back of his shirt as he followed her. He resisted the urge to move his hand closer to it. Not yet. You need to be sure.
Maria extended a long leg and nudged the rain-spattered body. Droplets pattered from Beatrice's curly hair to the floor, some of them red. “You meddlesome bitch, why tonight?” she asked the corpse. Beatrice didn’t reply.
Michael stopped short of Maria. Her dress was open-backed and muscles shifted under her smooth, tan skin. She wasn’t sharply defined, but even now her strength was apparent in the way she moved. “What will you do now?” he asked.
She spun toward him and his stomach dropped when he saw the light in her eyes. “What will I do?” she shouted. Her chest was heaving and even in his fear he couldn’t help noting the curves that had brought him this trouble to begin with. Her voice went quiet. “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.”
He involuntarily began to shuffle backward as she advanced. “What I’m going to do, Michael, is I’m going to tie up my loose ends.” Her voice had taken on a deeper tone and her smile was back - now a sneer.
“What loose ends, Maria?”
Her shoulders began to shake and her fists clenched and released, clenched and released. He noted with dismay that her nails were already thicker, longer.
“What loose ends?” Panic in his voice as his feet shuffled faster. She leapt for him. He went for the dagger. Too slow! Too slow! She was on him.
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - jscottsharp - 02-28-2012 02:47 PM
Here is mine...according to MS Word, I am 2 words short...so I can't follow directions well! LOL
The screaming ripped through my ears and grated on my nerves
I couldn’t remember ever hearing a woman cry so much. Not me. Not any woman. She could give us away and one thing that I’d learned from Rog over the past 6 months; I should never give away my position, especially to an enemy that could hear my heartbeat while I stood still. My hand twitched to backhand her across her mouth; I held back.
The abandoned hospital was a converted hidey hole, a place to cover ourselves from the werewolves. I wasn’t completely sure that the beasts didn’t already know about this place and had just given us some time to gather as many survivors here as we could. It was a good ploy if they were waiting. I’d seen 500 new people stumble into the building in the past several days. The wolves could kill a lot more of us all at one time, a successful slaughter house.
They would definitely find us if Rachel didn’t quit screaming. Even this basement morgue wasn’t soundproof.
We had people scattered all over the hospital. Twelve men were on different floors watching the windows. A precaution. I had volunteered, but none of them wanted to let a woman do the job. It pissed me off. Dale Calhoun was one of the men on watch and he was 40 pounds lighter than me and a foot and a half shorter. Not a muscle on his body. I was ripped. Rog insisted on it. Still I couldn’t be on the watch. Instead, I got the priveledge of listeniong to the ever increasing caterwauling of Rachel, my bedmate down in the shadows of the morgue.
“Rachel,” I hissed in a be-quiet-and-shut-up kind of way. “You are going to give us away.”
“I said shut up,” I tried to bore a hole in her head with my eyes. “ Do you think those things don’t have ears? ”
“Don’t talk to me like that Mena!”
She wasn’t going to calm down like this. Her voice was escalating and I just didn’t have time to talk her down anymore. If they found us down here, we were going to be sitting ducks, unable to protect ourselves. Diplomacy has never been my strong suit. I’ve had to learn how to see things from others perspective for the last six months. It’s a skill in development. I decided I would talk her down easy.
“If you don’t shut your mouth, I’ll rip your arm off and shove it down your throat.”
Rachel zipped it that quick. A blessed silence echoed through the shadowed morgue. Blessed silence.
…Suddenly ripped apart by the sound of one of the men over the hospital intercom. Rachel squealed and I gave her a hard look.
The place still had power which was a miracle. This whole part of the neighborhood did, shaky but existent. Blinking in and out.
“They’re coming! Right down the street! They’re coming!”
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - InkMuse - 02-28-2012 05:23 PM
[A flowery scent wafted from her hair but there was an undertone of something else – something warm and dark.]
Love this description. Why not give us a flower. Calla lilies maybe?
The sweet nectar of calla lilies wafted from her hair, but there was …
(I also revamped that to give the scent without saying scent).
Notes: It’s a male POV, so you may want to discard this as something he wouldn’t notice We can’t cut filters like “scent” every time (also, I find scent and taste the hardest to deepen POV on)
[Michael’s tongue felt like sandpaper against the roof of his mouth as he tried to swallow.]
Our flag word here is “felt”. Let’s show him feel it.
>Michael’s tongue scraped against the roof of his mouth like sandpaper as he tried to swallow.
Shows him feeling it. Make sense?
[The rough hilt of the silver dagger shifted under the back of his shirt as he followed her.]
Bingo. You show that sensation instead of tell it This is deep POV, my friend!
[He resisted the urge to move his hand closer to it.]
This is fine. Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple or something the wording has a better flow. But for the sake of the exercise, I’ll use this as another example of possibility for deepening POV.
His hand inched closer to it, but he clenched his fist to stop himself. (shows the resistance)
[She spun toward him and his stomach dropped when he saw the light in her eyes.]
Flag word: saw
Deepen: She spun toward him, and his stomach dropped when the light in her eyes flickered.
Or: She spun toward him, her eyes alight, and his stomach dropped.
Play around with it. Or keep it as is. You don’t have to get rid of all these cases of flag words.
[He involuntarily began to shuffle backward as she advanced.]
Unrelated to the WS, and I’ve resisted throughout to make other changes, but I can’t resist this one. Clean up the “began”:
He involuntarily shuffled backward as she advanced.
And fix continuity:
As she advanced, he involuntarily began to shuffle backward.
[Her shoulders began to shake and her fists clenched and released,]
Her shoulders shook…
I really, really love the atmosphere and your use of language! Wowza! Hope this helped illustrate deepening POV. What are your thoughts?
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - InkMuse - 02-28-2012 05:40 PM
[The screaming ripped through my ears and grated on my nerves.]
[ My hand twitched to backhand her across her mouth; I held back.]
Side note. I might be mentally ill, but I thought this was hot. LOL
[I decided I would talk her down easy.]
“I decided” is your flag word. How about something like this.
Shit. Maybe I could talk her down easy.
Or: I’d have to talk her down easy.
Even: I would talk her down easy. (simply cutting the “I decided” would work. You basically just want to get rid of the filter and get to what you are doing)
Overall, you actually DO write well in a deep POV. And I’d like to do your main character. He’s hot.
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - BrandonRLuffman - 02-28-2012 08:32 PM
Nifty! I see all of the points you made and they make sense - I just wish I could see them when I'm writing. LOL!
Still, through practice and observation we improve!
The only point I'd make is that you're absolutely correct about the scent of her hair. I originally was going to go with a flower (lilac, I think?) but made a conscious decision to be vague about it. The character being male, I decided that he wouldn't know what the smell was, just that it was something like a flower.
So, in short, I think your analysis of it is dead on. I just simply need to sharpen my ability to spot these opportunities to tighten up my POV.
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - jscottsharp - 02-28-2012 11:36 PM
I didn't even see that. Obviously "I decided" doesn't belong there. Good point!....I'm with Brandon. I need to be able to see these things when I am writing. I am aware of the POV when I am writing first person, but third person drives me bat-shit. I always feel like I have this gaping chasm between my MC and the reader. Are there different things to look for with third person? It just seems so much harder for me. it probably shouldn't be.
I am really impressed with Brandon's writing.
“So, Michael, what brings you back here on such a beautiful night?” she asked, brushing a drop of rain from his hair. Now he couldn’t pull his eyes away from hers. The raindrop she freed skittered along the curve of his ear, breaking the spell - for a moment at least. The urge to shiver was only suppressed by the knowledge that any show of weakness now would be deadly. (Are you kidding? Beautiful imagery, buddy!).
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - BrandonRLuffman - 02-29-2012 08:43 AM
Thank you, Jason! It really means a lot to me to hear praise from you guys. When capable writers tell me that I did something without screwing up too bad, it makes my insecurities a lot easier to bear!
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - jscottsharp - 02-29-2012 09:23 AM
You say "capable writers" like you aren't one. That is far from the truth. You are extremely capable. Writers always have insecurities. I don't feel capable, ever. and then sometimes, I can turn a phrase that makes me proud. We all do that! That's why we're here. Successful writing breeds more successful writing. I just wanted to learn...and it makes me happy to be learning here with you!
RE: Point of View Depth Workshop - BrandonRLuffman - 02-29-2012 02:49 PM
Likewise! I'm looking forward to the next workshop/lesson!