Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WRITE STRONGER - Perceptions in Point of View

Draw the Reader In

Writing in dedicated point of view lets the reader know they are experiencing the story through the character’s perceptions. Therefore, when you describe acts of perception, the verbs of perception saw, heard and smelled are unnecessary. Simply describe the perception. Anchor your reader in the heart and head of the character.

Instead of writing: “He looked out at the street and saw a boy whiz past on a skateboard.”
Write: “He looked out at the street. A boy whizzed past on a skateboard.”

Don’t use: “Sue stopped and listened. She heard leaves crunching behind her on the path.”
Use: “Sue stopped and listened. Leaves crunched behind her on the path.”

Not: “Fred sniffed. He smelled her perfume—the scent of lilacs—lingering in the air.”
But: “Fred sniffed. Her perfume—the scent of lilacs—lingered in the air.”

Remove this: She ran her hand over the bolt of fabric. It felt luxurious and textured and was exactly what she wanted.
Try this: She ran her hand over the bolt of fabric. Luxurious and textured, it was exactly what she wanted.

Use that useful “Find” function on your word processing program and search for the perception words. Avoid them when you can. You will pull your readers into the hearts and minds of your point of view character and anchor them in the action.

1 comment:

  1. Very good advice. I have read many explanations of POV and once had trouble understanding it - until I did an exercise of writing first person. It finally clicked and was easy after that. Now I need to understand your points as well to help my writing. Thanks.