Monday, 4 March 2013

Welcome to My Guest Author: Kamy Chetty

Today I welcome Author Kamy Chetty to my blog!   So over to Kamy...

 
Using Deep POV to step out of the Slush Pile

As a writer we get told a whole bunch of things that we have to stay true to, if we want to catch that editor’s/agent’s attention and not have to get picked up off the slush pile. Don’t get me wrong, many great writers have been picked up off that slush pile but we both know that it’s getting harder to get noticed.
Not too much back story or you slow the pace; your characters need to be believable; your reader needs to be invested in the story. You have to get the reader to have that emotional journey, and the most important one of them all, show, don’t tell. It’s impossible to remember all of this when you’re writing your story and to be honest, if you did, you’d drive yourself nuts and never get past page five. You’re sitting there thinking, this still isn’t telling me anything about deep POV, so here goes, I’m going to show you an e.g of how I used deep POV in getting published.

I wrote Falling into Paradise in three weeks but it took me a lot longer than that to edit the book. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful editor, but there were a lot of things I learnt that helped. The concept of layering opened new doors to me and my writing started making sense which resulted in a stronger book.
Deep point of view is when you go into the character’s head and start writing from their POV, instead of the narrative. You might say what are the benefits? Think of it this way. By going into deep POV you can start writing actively and you can show things your character sees and does and that added layer gives your reader the key to your book and the characters.

E.g. when you meet Sophie you see a woman who dresses up in expensive suits with a flashy car, so you think rich doctor from a cultured background.
‘She looked down and wanted to say she felt more like the prostitute from down the road where she lived as a child than Catwoman, but it didn't seem appropriate to share that much information with a man she barely knew.’

Now that little thought Sophie shares with us tells us she didn’t grow up with a silver spoon stuck to her palate and that is a very important thread in the story. I could have used a few paragraphs to imply the same thing but saying that she grew up around a prostitute has a lot more punch and power than anything I as a writer could have narrated.
The other thing deep POV can do is give your book sass. Throughout the book I use deep POV to deepen the characters and their motivations and make it all real. It heightens the tension and makes the story flow.

I can go on about deep POV if you let me but I’d rather you ask questions and I am happy to answer them as best I can. Thanks for having me, it has been a real pleasure being here and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the book or about being a newly published author.

Cheers
Kamy
Kamy Chetty Around the Web:
 
 
 
 Blurb - Falling Into Paradise:
A woman too afraid to commit. A man too hurt to love again. A passion that refuses to be denied.

Sophie Redmond knew betrayal, she knew mistrust. She knew everything that was wrong with the world, until Damon Watson charmed his way into her life.

The rules she used to shield her heart were broken one by one, as Damon showed her compassion and kindness. When no one else believes in her, he shows her hope. But is hope ever enough?

Damon knew trouble when he saw it. He was the sheriff. He could spot it a mile away and Sophie was trouble with a capital T. What was it about this City Slicker doctor that made him want to forget everything but those whiskey brown eyes and that honey blonde hair spilled against his naked chest.

Can Damon put the past behind him and choose to love again?
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30 comments:

  1. Hi Kamy. Thanks for this great article. Deep POV is so hard to achieve but certainly adds depth to our characters. Thanks for having Kamy on your blog, Serena.

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    1. Hi Louise- Thanks for coming by:-) I always think the trick to getting into your characters head is also taking an everyday feeling or event and making it personal to that particular character. I heard a workshop once that used that theory and it made sense- that's how you make your book stand out from the rest.

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  2. Thank you Kamy for sharing your thoughts on deep POV. As a writer I always need to improve my craft and this is a very important topic if you don't want to end up with one dimensional characters.

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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    1. Thanks Margaret- great to see you here:-)

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  3. Hi Kamy,
    Thanks for your insight into Deep POV. I personally like the increasing trend to using Deep POV in fiction. It makes the writing seem more immediate, more real. It's more satisfying to get inside the characters' heads and see, touch, feel, hear and taste what they do.

    Hi Louise,
    I agree, it's hard to learn Deep POV, but once learnt it's hard not to utilise. Like Kamy said, it comes back to showing and not telling. Thanks for dropping by the blog.

    Hi Margaret,
    No matter the experience of the writer, there is always something new to learn in honing our craft. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Serena- you are so right- but you know who does it with style- Stephen King. That man can make me hide under the blankets with all the lights on:-)

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  4. Hi Kamy. I love that modern times have enabled us to have more access to books and for writers to have more options in how they get published. Thank you for the neat post! I love deep POV but especially from the male characters when they're being so tough and macho to the heroine, it helps towards the wanting the reader gets to hope and hope everything will work out. I mean I know it always does but I love it when you're sitting there all caught up and hoping against all hopes it'll all work out and sometimes the deep POV from the male helps you see that he's not so tough on the inside and the reasons why he may be acting like an ass. In the case of Falling into Paradise (which I loved) I loved Damon's POV, it added to creating the fab characters of him and Sophie :)

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    1. Hi Tash,
      That's very true. Many years ago when the reader was only privy to the heroine's POV, the hero could be a total ass and the reader could be forgiven for hoping the heroine actually tells him to get stuffed! But if we know what he's thinking and feeling and why he reacts to the heroine the way he does, all can be forgiven as we fall in love with him even before the heroine does.
      Thanks for coming in, Tash.

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    2. Thanks so much for that Tash. When I first started writing it was always said- don't portray the hero as someone who is fickle and who is too cold and personally I like the alpha hero and in my next book I have a brooding hero but using a different POV shows why and going into deep POV gives it that extra oomph. I think it's great and it gives the reader an emotional journey. It's great seeing you here. Glad you liked the book:-)

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    3. Hi Serena and Kamy, loved your comments above, so neat to chat with like minded people :)

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    1. Absolutely, Desere! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by:-)

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  6. Hi Kamy, I'm reading a book right now and the writer could take some lessons from you. It's pure narrative, we never get inside the character's head. She has sex with this person and that person and there is no clue why. She makes decisions to go to the other end of the earth and you don't know why. You don't care either. And as for the sex - you don't want to know. You wrote a story with characters who engaged the reader from the outset and had the reader's attention. I felt the connection and cared about the characters. Well done Kamy. You're over on my blog this week. too. I really enjoyed hosting you.

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    1. Hi Maria,
      Don't you love it when the author can make you forget everything other than wanting to read about the characters in her book? How many meals were late (or perhaps overcooked) because I was too busy reading :)

      I must go over and visit your blog too. Thanks for coming in.

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    2. Serena - tell me about it. I adore it when a book engages me, but I do pay a price for getting lost in book.

      Not that I mind.

      Welcome to MBB - always enjoy your comments.

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    3. Okay you two- stop it- you both are making me blush- I might have to have hubby come over and look at these comments:-) But the truth is there are many great writers out there who use DPOV and it's great when you get so involved in the characters that you can't wait to turn the next page to see what happens next. I know I did a few mean things to my characters in this book but I did give them a happy ending:-)

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  7. Hi Kamy and Serena!

    Thank you for such a wonderful post. As readers we need to really care why a character acts and does what he does. If we don't care about the character, we will just throw the book!


    Nas-logged in a different account!

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    1. Hey Nas, you really nailed that. Now that I'm reading something which is so crudely written, I'm appreciating our writers even more.

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    2. Nas- you know throwing the book across that room is why some of us become writers LOL- but it's not easy to write it and get it right that is why we have some great editors out there and great workshops and writing groups. And let's not forget great blogs and people like you who help spread the word- you are all awesome and you play a huge role in making writers better- because we can always learn and improve and giving us all an opportunity to put out better work. So thank you:-)

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    3. Hi Nas,
      I know exactly what you're talking about—when attending my very first conference (the now defunct Australian Chapter of the Romance Writers of America) I was sharing with someone I'd just met a couple of times. Elvina and I bonded over what we learned to call *wall-bangers*. I used to be more lenient and read at least three or four chapters before I decided, but now I'm very choosy and a book might quickly become a wall-banger :) or should that be :(

      Thanks for coning in, Nas.

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  8. Nice write-up, Kamy. I've read books with too much telling and not enough showing, or inner thoughts as they may be. Boring.

    I've also read books that had too many POV switches, and I actually wrote to the publisher. The editor for that book wrote back and I was told it was deep POV. I'm in her head one minute and his the next and it gets confusing.

    When learning to write in the romance genre, overcoming abrupt POV changes was something I struggled with. One scene, one POV. And now they (the editors) seem to be saying it's okay. Can you clarify this a little better for me? :)

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    1. Thanks for coming by and I am so glad you brought that up. The most important thing about deep POV is you can't head hop or switch POVs too often if you are going to use it. The pount of using deep POV is to get the reader involved and connected with the character. So you're trying to get the reader experience what the character is experiencing- now if you switch POV too often- you are going to lose that. So my advice would be- either keep it to one POV per scene or chapter. It works best that way. There are writers that head hop but they don't use deep POV in the true sense of the word. Hope that helps.

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    2. Hi Lorraine,
      I am a POV purist (just ask many of my clients!) I will always point out what I perceive are problems with POV (head hopping, omniscient POV, poor POV changes, out of POV, etc). There are certain authors who head hop a LOT. In fact that's how my very favourite author lost me as a fan. Sometimes you can enhance a story by having more than just two POVs, but you don't need just one line from several characters. Only include POVs that move the story along.

      There are some publishers that accept head hopping, and I suppose that English is an evolving language. Certain words are used for different things than what they used to be and new words are born regularly. And new ways of writing are born regularly (e.g. 30 or 40 years ago, I would never have got away with starting a sentence with *and* or *but*). Another example, many years ago an author would never have got away with speech tags such as *he breathed* or *she grimaced*. They are action tags and people can not breathe or grimace dialogue. Or laugh, smile, etc. Yet they are becoming more common in published books.

      I will always point out that action tags cannot be used as dialogue tags, problems with spelling or punctuation, just as I will point out head hopping or other POV problems—but some people are very adamant that they're right. In the end, it's their baby.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Hi Kamy and Serena

    I am becoming more and more fascinated with deep POV. The ability to get inside your character's skin and show your reader things you would otherwise have to tell. Kamy, your example above, about Sophie's past, is so clever, and tells us so much, without really 'telling' us. I love it!

    This is something I am currently trying to infuse into my own writing. The power of suggestion is a wonderful thing.

    Thanks again to both of you.

    Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle- thanks for stopping by. Isn't it amazing how Deep POV is the new best thing. It's like everybody is doing it and it puts a new spin on things and there is so much you can do with it. Such a neat tool to use, it's like a new toy:-)

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    2. Hi Michelle,
      It's that getting "inside your character's skin and show your reader things you would otherwise have to tell" that draws the reader into the story.

      Thanks for coming in and saying hi.

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  10. Belated Hi to Kamy and Serena,
    thanks for an amazing post. I have the feeling deep POV requires you as the writer to bare your soul, and that comes out on the page. It's something I definitely need to work on. Thanks again.

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    1. Hi Lia, thanks for stopping by. The trick is not to think about using it while you're writing. When you write the book- just write and get the book done and over. Then when you're editing- take a breath and think about how you can make subtle changes. You'll get the hang of it. It has to do with the character- remember- you're bringing out the essence of the character. You're showing the character's personality and how they act and react. You start thinking about things like that- I promise you- an editor will start paying attention. Good luck Lia:-)

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    2. Hi Lia,
      Kamy is right and we can see her point by that example from her book. You would understand someone thinking she was not the person she really is deep inside, and had we not read those couple of lines, we might never know just what makes Sophie the person she is.

      Thanks for dropping in, Lia.

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