I can get lost in a story as I’m writing it. I stop listening to my characters and write what I know needs to happen at that particular moment. I lose emotion and description that is vital to the story and for the reader to connect.
To deepen the POV, you need to see things through your characters’ eyes. You need to feel their reactions to dialogue and actions. You need to listen to their internal dialogue and external dialogue. You need to watch their actions. Everything must be filtered through that character’s brain. Their life story up to this point shapes their unique view of the world. One character may think the color is brown, while the other thinks it’s khaki.
Your characters’ distinctive voices are what draws in the reader and helps them relate to your story so they won’t put down the book. And we all want that, don’t we?!
As you’re editing, and even as you’re writing, keep in mind that your carefully crafted character is his or her own individual person with their own way of reacting to things. Use nervous habits like twirling hair, biting nails, or clearing a throat. Use phrases or nicknames that is uniquely theirs. Show us what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. The reader wants to live through your character, good or bad.
Can you add the antagonist’s POV? Show us why he or she is the antagonist. The antagonist believes they’re right and just, however morbid that may be. What life journey brought them to this point? It won’t make them a better person, but it will deepen your story and show what the protagonist is up against.
You want the readers to laugh, cry, yell, and empathize with your characters. If a book can get me to laugh out loud, cry, or draw out some kind of response from me through the characters, the author has written a great book. It’s just like those horror movies when the ditzy character goes into the room without turning on the light. Your stomach clenches and you yell at the screen to switch on that freaking light, idiot! And when the hero of the horror movie defeats the chainsaw, machete, finger-knife wielding bad guy, you get excited and may even cheer. Or maybe that’s just me…
Remember to view everything through your character’s unique view of the world, and it will go a long way to deepening your story and helping your readers relate to your characters and story.
Do you have any tricks that help you deepen your character’s point of view? Please share!