Last year I attended a week-long conference, Your Best Book sponsored by the talented folks at Free Expressions. Since their information is useful for novelists who are writing for both adult and children, I thought I’d share some of their tips with you.
My week began on Monday morning with much anticipated classes on Voice and Deep Point of View. Editor and children’s publishing professional Emma Dryden said, “Voice turns an “anyone” into a “someone.” An author must employ word choice, sentence structure, vernacular, slang, idioms, to create the “poetry of speech.”
She added, “Voice helps identify characters in a setting. It lies beneath the actual words the characters use.” Underneath those words, our characters’ bodies and eyes may say something else. “The emotions, motivations, fears, hopes, desires, internal trajectory of your characters should all be expressed through dialogue, actions, and thoughts.”
Lorin Oberweger, the mastermind and talented wordsmith behind Free Expressions, taught us about deep point of view. She introduced her class with the words, “Seduction—not instruction.” In a nutshell, deep POV is about, “Creating a immersive rich environment on the page that seduces the reader. You want your reader to lose herself in your book.” Writers want to avoid “Instruction” with a more distance POV that’s more authorial.
As much as possible, writers need to see the world through their characters’ eyes and experiences. The more we are inside our characters’ skin, the greater our ability to write how their emotions dictate their responses. Lorin told us to use rich details to show who they are, what they love, and how their passions filter through their language and experiences.
One year later I still find myself working towards the goal of getting so deeply inside my characters that the reader will experience life in Charlotte in 1950 through their senses.
Lorin has generously allowed me to share Deep Point of View. Click “download file now” and it will open as a PDF file.