Friday, March 23, 2012

Deep POV with Guest Blogger Angi Morgan

EVERY word and phrase has a purpose & should be used to its fullest potential.

Deep Point of View refers to getting inside your character and writing almost from their first-person perspective. It’s POV that connects the reader to the character’s emotions, letting the reader become closer to the story, more involved.

Even without “Deep POV,” you can tighten your writing by being aware that EVERY word counts. Each word, phrase, paragraph, scene, and chapter should work together to progress your story either by revealing GMC or dropping a clue that will help the reader understand something at a later point.

  Deep POV ties emotion to actions and reactions, and connects the current action to what’s going on inside the character’s head (introspection, emotion, reaction).

Since people think in specifics, letting our characters think in specifics brings the reader closer to that character and WHY they’re thinking what they’re thinking at that exact moment. When you’re deep in a character’s POV, the character doesn’t keep secrets from himself (a Suzanne Brockmann tip I learned many moons ago).

DEEP POV lets the reader experience the story...instead of someone telling them the story. Very simple changes subtly change a sentence from “telling” into “showing” and bring us closer to the character, giving us insight into their world.

As writers we’re consistently told to avoid using “telling” words and phrases: felt, saw, heard, just as, plus, because, knew, little does she know, without thinking, however, she continued, he thought, she realized, couldn’t help but, can’t help noticing.  BUT WHY? As a writer, have you dissected your favorite type of book and looked at the type of sentence structure that excites you as a reader?

She knew she had to run, but it felt like her feet were stuck in quicksand.
VS
Run. Now. Make your quicksand feet move before you’re dead.

The first sentence is very passive. (Very Telling, as if I’m telling you how a third person felt.) Several years ago, the second example would have appeared in italics. It’s as if the character is talking to herself. Let’s think about this for a minute. If we’re in a character’s POV, we’re already in their… You got it! We’re already in their thoughts. So write as if you’re thinking. When thinking, we’re not formal. We use the same verbiage. We think in the same phrases. My writing “style” is to italicize for emphasis and when the character is directing a thought AT themselves (i.e.: I can run).
 



DEEP POV THROUGH SETTING
If the description doesn’t impact the character, it won’t impact the reader.

Setting is more than just describing the landscape or type & color of the furniture. It’s the tone of your characters’ surroundings and the attitude in which they think about it. If a man walks into a room and notices the paisley print curtains, he better be an interior designer or those curtains better look just like the set at his mother’s house. It’s not “in-character” for the Average Joe to notice curtains. The same goes for a heroine standing on her porch and describing the surroundings she sees every day. The author needs a reason for the heroine to be thinking about her surroundings.

At least one of your characters will be very familiar and comfortable with their corner of the world. The other will be observing not only the new locale, but also the way another character moves through it. Setting includes the observations about the actual way things look vs. the way things make a character feel. One or two words throughout a character’s thoughts can set the tone of your book and give you an excellent backdrop.

A FEW QUICK EXAMPLES:
It rained on them.  VS  Rain pelted them like ice shards.
They got in the rental car trying to get warm.  VS  They were both soaked to the skin, making him wish he’d rented a car with warming seats.

DESCRIBING ACTION
Let the reader experience the story instead of telling them the story...

When an author “lists” what a character is doing, they are viewing the scene from somewhere else--meaning another character or an omniscient POV (and the author usually ends up “telling” what’s happening instead of “showing” the action). By “list” I mean what they do through the scene step-by-step. To get deep POV, the author concentrates more on emotion and/or WHY the character is consciously thinking about his own movements.

Combining action, emotion and scene pulls the reader in and keeps them turning pages. Another outside character can’t know the true emotional reaction of what’s happening to the characters involved in the scene, and an omniscient POV places an interpretation upon the feelings the characters are experiencing.

The following is from my new book DANGEROUS MEMORIES (title may change) coming from Harlequin Intrigue. The first paragraph is how NOT to write an active scene, followed by what I actually wrote.

NOT ACTIVE, NOT DEEP POV

Levi watched while people ran to safety at the funeral. He needed to get Joseph’s daughter to safety so he ran through the flower arrangements and tackled her to the ground. He watched the wreaths fall onto the casket as roses and rain pelted them.

DANGEROUS MEMORIES (hopefully active and half-way decent)
Levi hurdled a flower arrangement to get her to safety faster. He should have listened to himself earlier and stood next to her. He heard the shot. Choices? Either hit the dirt or run like those in his peripheral vision. He leapt in a flying tackle to take Joseph’s daughter down with him.

He’d pushed hard off the slippery grass, heavily landing on top of Jolene. He turned as much as he could to take the brunt of the fall. Their bodies slid off the fake-grass rug, into the mud.

Wreath stands fell onto the casket.

Roses and other flowers fell on their heads.

Rain pelted them like ice shards.

Levi rolled on top of her, keeping his weight on his elbows and knees, using the bullet-proof vest he wore to shield her heart. If it were only that easy.

CAN YOU TELL A DIFFERENCE? The first paragraph tells the same information, but doesn’t get my heart racing like the section from my book. There’s one last thing you need to know about “telling” --always remember when it’s used correctly, it can be a good way to cut to the chase and get the information you need onto the page in the quickest fashion. Bottom line? Be aware of how you’re writing and manipulate how it affects the scene and what you want the reader to feel as a result of reading it.

Which example do you prefer? Let me know in your comment and I’ll put your name in the hat for some TEXAS magnets.



I CAN’T INCLUDE EVERYTHING SO…

For more Examples of “DEEP POV” go to my website article
(soon to be posted on my own updated website.)

 


  Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Hill Country Holdup went on sale the very night it won the RWA Golden Heart® award and is a Bookseller’s Best & Romantic Times Best First Series Book Nominee. Her second Harlequin Intrigue®, .38 Caliber Cover-Up, is a Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Nominee.

 FIND ANGI
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Copyright 2012 Angi Morgan -- all rights reserved, please obtain written permission before use.





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149 comments :

  1. Hi Angi,

    I have been WAITING all week for this topic! I'm printing off the column and taking it to bed with me! Such an important tool and one that I've been working on. Every tip is so appreciated. Thank you!

    See everyone in the morning, but leaving raspberry hot chocolate for you night owls.

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  2. I'm concerned that you are taking this post to bed with you.

    Sleeping with it under your pillow is not a proven teaching tool.

    However since you brought raspberry hot chocolate I'm not going to argue.

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  3. And on a serious note, I am so jazzed to have Angi in Seekerville (back again) to do this teaching post.

    It's an excellent and thorough examination of Deep POV.

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  4. Thanks Angi - EXCELLENT post. Glad you shared it today in Seekerville! Yesterday I posted a link to a NYT article. I think they read your info. Just super. Thank you.

    ** I'm a Texas girl originally - 5th generation! Cute magnets!! Since we're in Tennessee now, best leave for those who need to be reminded about the great state of Texas. ;D

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  5. Tina!!!!!!!!!!!
    You're a HOOT and 1/2.

    And thanks Lyndee. YUMMO!

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  6. I read a book not too long ago where the POV character would be thinking a thought but would always trail off or change the subject in his own head when he was about to reveal a secret the author didn't want the reader to know, and it aggravated the fire out of me, because everything was deep POV except this little trick.

    As you said, characters don't keep secrets from themselves and they don't just stop thinking about something every time it comes up because they're afraid to ruin the plot point for the reader in their heads.

    Anyway, that taught me an aspect of Deep POV that I haven't seen addressed before. (This is the first time I've seen it with your "They don't keep secrets from themselves.")

    Deep POV isn't for the lazy. You have to figure out ways to keep your character's secrets from the reader, yet keep from writing inauthentic character thoughts. It's challenging...but then, what isn't about this writing thing? Ha!

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  7. Ok, people, just STOP!! Stop posting little tidbits like that scene! I haven't read any of Angi's books but have to now because I want to know what HAPPENS after they collapse into the funeral flowers.

    I love POV talks. I thought I understood it but then Camy Tang had a post on here about deep POV and changed my writing forever. The only thing I hate about understanding this concept is, like Melissa says, you really notice when there's a POV fail.

    Off to crawl inside my character's head. She's a smart cookie so there's not a lot of room in there, but I'll wedge myself in and take dictation.

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  8. Thanks for such a great post, Angi. Perfect reading before I start my morning 1k1hr.

    I totally agree that your second (actual) version drags the reader right into the story. To be honest, the first one read more like a text book - the kind of passage you reread to make sure it made sense. The second one lets you feel part of the scene.

    Happy Friday, Seekerville.

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  9. Well, this is wonderful stuff, Angi! Thank you so much for being in Seekerville, and sharing such sharp examples of "Do" and "Do Not"... I love how electric you make things sound. Seriously strong.

    Love it!

    Raspberry hot chocolate???

    Oh. Gimme.

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  10. One thing, though.... Angi mentioned the "Italics" thing, that it used to be when someone was in their own head, it was italicized to show internal thought.

    Some publishers (even in Harlequin) still do that. And some will let you float from one POV to the next without a space, others want a space. Or asterisks. Or your first-born child. With a full year's supply of diapers.

    I remember unpubbed contest judges slamming work because it was "wrong"... But depending on your editorial house, things can change.

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  11. You know, Angie, I was just thinking about this while reading the New York Times article about the effects of novels on our brains.

    Wouldn't it be a cool post to explore how our word choices keep the readers intrigued by our story because of the way the individual words impact our brains?

    Sorry, just thinking out loud.

    I was making connections between you saying how our POV choice involves people in the story and the article about neuroscience. *g*

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  12. Thank you, Angi, for this timely reminder as I start revisions. It's so much better when a reader becomes a part of the story then when their looking through a window.

    Your second example is proof of this. I was involved in the action not getting a lesson in how to rescue a loved one.

    This is definitely an post to print out and keep close.

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  13. Hi Angi,
    What great examples.

    So we don't italicize deep POV thoughts now? My crit partners have suggested I do. (I know this wasn't the main focus of your article.)
    I've heard italics can jar the reader, so that makes sense.
    Thanks for sharing today!
    Jackie L.

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  14. Oh wow, wow, wow! I love this - especially deep POV using setting! I'm really learning to show setting in this way (I think LOL!) Here's an example....

    (heroine is updating her blog)

    She uploaded a couple of photos.

    These pictures don’t even come near to doing justice to the gorgeous hues of deep purple and magenta bleeding through the sky, weeping their tint across the jutting rocks as the sun sinks below the hills.

    Anticipating a glorious day of writing...yes I plan to sneak in a scene or two before the weekend LOL!

    Blessings to ALL!
    PamT

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  15. sooo true!
    i have laid books aside b/c their author has not learned this. and further work from that author will not likely be on my TBR stack !
    Many Thanks Angi ~ well said :)

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  16. Angie, these are great examples!! Thanks so much for sharing with us today. That second version of your scene was definitely better. Had my heart pounding! :)

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  17. I can never get too much of tell vs show examples because it seems to be a hard concept for me to get. I think I'm on the right track only to find the all too 'telling' truth -- I'm not! So thanks for the great examples. And I never thought about how that definitely leads to deep POV.

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  18. Angi, I was having a serious case of "bleck" when I read my recently written scenes. I had fallen into a case of "-eds" without even realizing it. Thanks for giving me the insights to chop those "telling" words out.

    Now if you could help me with the problem of "head jumping"!

    Ruthy, I have been wondering about the italics thing myself. I have been referring to my LI books but realized it was a Harlequin thing when I looked at others.

    Raspberry iced tea needs to be passed around down here today. We are going to be in the 80s.

    I am passing out a plate of local honey samples. Did you know eating local honey helps your immune system deal with the pollen in your region?

    Peace, Julie

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  19. This is so good! I'll be printing this one for sure, it's very motivating, I'm ready to dive into my wip now.

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  20. Welcome to Seekerville, Angi!! Thanks for joining us today. Wonderful informative post on deep POV. Your excellent examples show how to stay deep inside our characters' heads.

    Your books look fabulous! Congratulations on the contest finals!

    I used to italicize all my characters' thoughts but now use italics for my characters' silent prayers. Though I sometimes use italics for emphasis like when the hero is chastising himself for getting close to the heroine, as in: Whoa, Cummings.

    Janet

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  21. Welcome to Seekerville, Angi!

    I can never get enough deep POV advice. It's an allusive talent to write from your character's heart. Even when I think I've got it, I'll go back through a draft and realize I'm STILL telling.

    Oy vay.

    Frustrating, yes. But oh so satisfying when you finally accomplish it : )

    I absolutely loved this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Welcome back to Seekerville, Angi! I love learning more & more about how to apply Deep POV and you gave some great examples.

    I only use italics for very brief internal thoughts where I want a special emphasis on something specific my POV character is thinking, but not for entire passages since everything is already in my character's POV.

    I'm not eligible for the Seekerville drawing as I'm a Seeker. :) But as a half-Texan, I can't help but favor the classic Texas shape.

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  23. Angi, thanks so much for your suggestions for writing deep POV. I need the reminder that EVERY word counts. I know remembering that will help me write tight. :)

    I also appreciated this reminder: So write as if you’re thinking. "When thinking, we’re not formal. We use the same verbiage. We think in the same phrases."

    So much great information in here! Thanks!

    Looking forward to coming back later and reading everyone's comments. :)

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  24. Angi, I love deep POV and I love Texas.

    You said, "There’s one last thing you need to know about “telling” --always remember when it’s used correctly, it can be a good way to cut to the chase and get the information you need onto the page in the quickest fashion."

    This is why my ms are over the word count for so many publishers. Thanks for Permission to tell inconsequential details.

    My first critique partner suggested I italicize my characters thoughts. Almost every sentence was affected. Nice to know this is no longer required.

    Question: Is there such a thing as too much emotion?

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  25. Morning Angie and welcome to Seekerville.

    Wow, great examples of "show don't tell" I wish I had met you when I started out. I never could figure out what they were talking about when they (editors and contest judges) said that.

    Love the raspberry hot chocolate. Thanks.

    Julie, thanks for the hint about the honey. I'll try that.

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  26. Lyndee, I hope the article was worth the wait...and the hot chocolate (raspberry hot chocolate...I'm waiting for the real stuff!)

    ~Angi

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  27. Angi, when I read "writing almost from their first-person perspective" at the beginning of your post, the light bulb went on! Thanks for giving more depth to my understanding of deep POV.

    Your second example is definitely better than the first. It makes me want to really examine books I don't like - is the author's distance from their characters the problem?

    I love Texas, too - but I have to say I'm glad I don't live there anymore. I like living where the weather gets cold enough to kill bugs before they get up to plague proportions.

    I went to bed early last night and missed Lyndee's raspberry hot chocolate - is there any left?

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  28. THANKS FOR INVITING ME, TINA!

    I LOVE being here at Seekerville. You guys are so active and make a gal feel welcome!

    I'm also very humbled to get to help with Deep POV. I'm certainly not an expert, so if I've confused anyone...we'll try to sort it out.

    ~Angi

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  29. Teehee, Tina...If I read something right before bed, sometimes it sinks into the thick skull. :)

    Angi, can't wait to read the POV post on your website. Your examples are excellent, but I am like some others here, I need a lot of POV practice and examples help so much.

    Is there a definitive book or chapter that I'm missing that covers deep POV?

    Since it's morning, I'm adding raspberry iced tea and hot tea to the table along with raspberry scones. (And don't tell my WW leader, but some clotted cream on the table too...shhhhhh).

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  30. Popping in real quick from my in laws... No time to read everything :/.

    I write first person almost exclusively but there's nuggets to be gleaned here for all of us. I recently read an MS from a friend who wrote in omniscient. It took me a while to get used to because I so used to deep POV.

    May have more later - now it's time to get ready to hit half-price bookstore with the fam ;).

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  31. KC --going to find your article. I've very curious to go hand-in-hand with anything.

    My daughter takes great pride in reminding me she's a 12th generation Texan. Ha Ha! (I guess I'm a little glad she's proud of that!)

    ~Angi

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  32. Melissa --A book like that would drive me crazy. It's very unfortunate that I no longer finish books that send me into editor mode (I'm not an editor...just referring to my blasted internal editor that edits everything and makes "just plain reading" hard to do).

    "You have to figure out ways to keep your character's secrets from the reader" --One thing to consider is to NOT be in the POV of the character with the secret when they would be thinking about it. OR another is to switch to dialogue and have them stop the vocalization of the secret.
    I might just be learning something myself. LOL

    ~Angi

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  33. Viginia --Lucky for you no one here knows how this scene plays out. It's at the beginning of my new book for Intrigue...which I'm still waiting on a publishing date. The book's working title is Dangerous Memories. It was very exciting for me to write.

    Going to have to look up Camy Tang's article (love good information).

    I absolutely love smart heroine's. I love the challenge of putting one into a "jeopardy" situation. For instance in .38 Caliber Cover-Up...Darby's a very smart police officer without any street smarts. Gets her into plenty of trouble.

    ~Angi

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  34. Mary --Mary, what's your Twitter handle. I like to 1K1Hr...and "SPRINT" every day with friends in Chatzy.

    And whew--I'm so glad you feel that way about the funeral.

    ~Angi

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  35. Ruth --I think Harlequin's policy (at least for Intrigue) is more up to the author's preference. You can leave direct thoughts in italics, and this is very hard to explain...but as Janet said: "I used to italicize all my characters' thoughts but now use italics for my characters' silent prayers."

    Thinking a little more on this, I was trying to hit on the fact that many of us grew up reading VERY TELLING stories that had every direct thought in italics. THAT's what's not the same.

    We live in an instant society who are used to seeing images. Think of a music video or commercial. OKAY GOT IT !! A visual comparison: the detective shows in the 70's & 80s used to have people get in and out of cars and drive to the next scene...how often do you see that now? We just assume they got in the car. It was filler unless a car accident happened. (On my third hand I'm holding behind my back...well, the commericals are sort of moving INTO the show --so if they're riding in a car, it's probably there for product placement-- LOL).

    Did that help?

    ~Angi

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  36. Mary & Neuroscience --Is it completely weird that my youngest daughter is graduating with a Neuroscience degree? Should I mention this suggestion to her? LOL

    I think it would be extremely cool to study this. (And if any of you watch LEVERAGE...you'll know that they use the power of word suggestion all the time!)

    ~Angi

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  37. Kristine --revisions? bleh! So glad you found this post interesting and not too confusing!

    ~Angi

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  38. Jackie -- I have to agree that italicized passages are a bit distracting to me know. If it's a letter, I'd rather see it indented than italicized. Maybe it's my old eyes.

    The thing about DEEP POV is that pretty much all the introspection is the CHARCTER'S thoughts. So--my personal style--is to only italicize when they're thinking in FIRST person. i.e. Could you be more stupid, Cooper? (Levi Cooper talking to himself about his actions WHILE in his POV.)

    I think the best thing to do is find the line/publisher you've targeted for your work and see what their authors do...how they write... Editors are readers first and foremost...so if they're buying an author, they probably like that author's style.

    ~Angi

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  39. Pam --Lovely! I think you can take it just one step further...relate the photo to your heroine. You have words in this passage that are very emotional. DO those words reflect how your heroine is feeling? Use those surrounding to draw the reader directly to the emotion of your characters. Weave it together.

    Hope you don't mind the suggestion.

    ~Angi

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  40. Sharon --I just hate picking up a book like this and wondering if *I'm* the one who has it completely wrong. But as I mentioned earlier...whoever edited/purchased/published the book...THEY MUST ENJOY that style of writing. So there's a market for it.

    After all's said and done, you have to be true to your style of writing. Telling or showing your story is totally up to you.

    ~Angi

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  41. Kav --Glad this helped. You guys are so good for my ego...your nice comments are giving me the courage to attack the next proposal!

    ~Angi

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  42. Julie --Head Hopping...first thing I did was stop reading Nora Roberts while I was writing. I read her and my long-time favorites completely for pleasure. I realized that my favorites could and do get away with long passages of telling...or even head hopping... And I have to be in a NON-writing mode to enjoy their work now.

    Second thing? Try a Susanne Brockmann trick: write the scene in 1st person. THEN change it to third person for the character with the most to lose/gain in the scene. You'll be surprised at how this can change your writing.

    And always remember: if there's nothing that advances the story in the scene (or even part of it from a POV) then it shouldn't be in the manuscript.

    ~Angi

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  43. Jamie --SO SO SO glad I'm a keeper. Oh I mean my article's a keeper. (hehehe)

    ~Angi

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  44. Janet --Thanks for the congrats! Keeping my fingers crossed. Glad to know I'm not alone on the italics front.

    ~Angi

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  45. Audra --I KNOW !! I tell all the time. It's definitely the easiest and fastest way for me to get my thoughts on paper (or a screen). But being aware of how your process of writing works...well, it allows us to go back and make the necessary corrections to improve it. Nothing wrong with telling. You just have to decide when it needs to be there.

    ~Angi

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  46. Angi, Mary was talking about facebook's #1k1h group. (She might have twitter, but that's where we've been doing that)

    Facebook #1k1h

    Twitter uh, disagrees with me, I just can't choke it down though I exist there. :) So I'm glad Carol (a seeker reader) started it.

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  47. Another trick I do to help me catch my own deep pov mess ups is that I do a pass of reading the scene aloud as if it were first person, so when I cross the pov character's name or refering pronoun I read it as "I" aloud -- it doesn't take too much effort to get the hang of it after a few sentences, and then you'll catch stilted sounding thought and you can correct it to sound more first person like (of course the trick is when you're rewriting it not to slip and write an "I" in it. :)

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  48. Hi Angi,

    Thanks for breaking this down into bite-sized tips. Like several other posters, I will be printing this off and adding to my "keeper" folder. You rock!

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  49. Okay what is Chatzy?

    And Angi we like to ask our guests about a typical writing day. What's it like for you?

    And what are you working on now?

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  50. Glynna --Once a Texan, ALWAYS a Texan! What's this 1/2 nonsense! LOL Very glad to know I'm not alone with the italics emphasis. I have to stop myself sometimes...I want to go italics crazy. But removing them helps me make the writer tighter and stronger.

    ~Angi

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  51. Jeanne --I love it when I can phrase things that stick! Oh to have a magnet with a phrase I've come up with. LOL

    ~Angi

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  52. “Dying is simply a part of living, Toots. … Everything in the whole world has to die sometime. That’s the way God made things.”

    “Then I don’t think God cares about life very much.”

    Oh, that’s not true! Life is very precious to God. That’s why He made it so fragile and so short.”

    “That makes absolutely no sense.”

    “Yes, it does. He made it fragile so we would treasure it, just like He does. You’re not nearly as careful with your cast-iron frying pans as you are with your good china, are you? God wanted life to be precious to us – so He made it as frail as fine china.”

    ~ from Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places


    A dear friend lost her husband in a tragic accident yesterday morning. They have five children, ages 5-18. Why is it life seems like an iron skillet until the china shatters at our feet?

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  53. Bridgett --WOWSERS! I can't remember what my first CPs told me other than get a dictionary. LOL I actually re-read one of my first manuscripts. The opening had to be the TREES telling a story (no I wasn't 9). The hero was riding a horse, he was described down to the last detail...but no one was around. Had to be the ENTS.

    ~Angi
    (And for those of you wondering what ENTS are...LORD OF THE RINGS)

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  54. Sandra --I think it was desperation at trying to find out what "THEY" were talking about that drove me to write this article. The original was an impromptu workshop for my chapter in (whew!) 2004. But I did update for Seekerville.

    ~Angi

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  55. Joanne & Writingbee -- THANKS !!
    ~Angi

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  56. Jan --WOO HOO! Light is always a good thing! Makes it much easier to write. I hope you examine some of your favorites too to discover what it is you enjoy about them. Look me up and let me know!!

    ~Angi

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  57. Angi, what you said about 'a character doesn't lie to himself' reminded me of a Jennifer Crusie article I read once where she said, "Characters lie to themselves all the time."
    I have that in mind in deep POV. A character can think something completely wrong, completely illogical. But the READER needs to know the character's thoughts are wrong.

    I also had an acquaintance with the most horrendous marriage, alcoholic, druggie, abusive husband. I learned from listening to her with bruises on her face, when I offered to help her.....NEVER underestimate a personals ability to lie to themselves.

    NEVER

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  58. Lyndee -- (love your name by the way) WELL, guess I'll have to post this on my website. Darn it. I'm learning how to work Dreamweaver and update the silly thing. But the original article along with a friend's revised scene is available on my chapter's website: ntrwa.org/writing articles.

    And the weather here is cold at night and warm during the day. Makes me want to go camping.
    ~Angi

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  59. Carol --I really admire writers who can pull off first person POV. I'm glad to see a trend where they're using more than one character's POV (even in 1st person)...I really missed the hero's POV.

    ~Angi

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  60. And I love article, Angi. when you say, "Let the reader experience the story."

    That is soooooo key.

    I think of it this way.

    It's the difference between a reader knowing the character is sad
    and
    The reader being sad themselves.

    The reader needs to FEEL what your character feels not KNOW what your character feels.
    I love the way you put it.

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  61. That italics thing.
    I think I still do that and I think my editor takes them out.

    I need to find out and get with the program....so I can change and stop making more work for my editor.

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  62. Angi said: If we’re in a character’s POV, we’re already in their… You got it! We’re already in their thoughts.

    LOVE that line! Jumped right out at me and puts everything about deep POV so very clear.

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  63. Melissa --That is a GREAT tip. Thanks ! I read aloud all the time. And fortunately, I have a husband who supports me by reading and listening to me. (yep, he's a keeper.)

    ~Angi

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  64. Jan -- LOVE YOU MAN!!

    ~Angi
    (said in my dopey college imitation voice)

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  65. Linnette --So sorry to hear about your friend. I'll keep her family in my prayers. And thanks for sharing Lynn Austin's work.

    ~Angi

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  66. Mary C --THAT's definitely true. My "but" though would be to say that those characters are in a different place. Your friend for instance. If you were writing a character and in that POV...would she actually be lying, or trying to convince herself of an alternate reality? Would she actually be believing what she's saying? Or wishing that what she was saying is the truth?

    A character can definitely be wrong, but I honestly believe that we're the one person we can't actually lie to... We can be wrong, we can believe the wrong thing hoping it's the truth... but actually lying?

    And on the other-hand (does that make a fourth one behind my back?) A character who truly believed the lies is a very scary villian.

    ~Angi

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  67. ~~ FACEBOOK 1K1HR ~~

    OH I'M SO THERE !!! Just asked to join!

    ~Angi

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  68. ~~ CHATZY.COM ~~

    It's a free chat room that can be saved. We chat between "sprinting" for 20-25-30 minutes. Remind each other to get up and move around, work out sentence problems or brainstorm. But someone always has the "whip" to crack and tells us when it's time to write. It's very very productive. If you've been following Robin Perini's blogs, she mentions it often.

    We even sprint when no one else is in the "room" with us. But the next person who logs on can see our results. So the accountability is HUGE !

    ~Angi

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  69. Welcome Angi, and THANKS for this post--another keeper for me. I definitely liked YOUR exciting version of Levi shielding the girl--WOW! ~ I'm still chuckling over Tina's reply to Lyndee at the beginning of all the comments, LOL (thanks, Tina--I needed a laugh today). ~ Since I'm working on making my writing stronger and trying to conquer the "show don't tell" tendency, this post really was helpful--thanks again! Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

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  70. Hey, ANGI, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!!

    WOW, what a great post on deep POV, something I actually am never quite clear about, but you explained it WONDERFULLY, so THANK YOU!!

    Now ... to go and apply some of it!! :)


    Hugs,
    Julie

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  71. Mary you are right, Connealy I said you were right! OMGoodness.

    I put the italics in and they take them out. I reoccurring theme.

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  72. ~~ A TYPICAL WRITING DAY ~~

    Writing days vary for me when my husband travels. I tend to sit and "work" way to long. Then watch TV to unwind my stalled brain.

    I've gotten in the habit of social media (including email) the first hour I get up. Then I head to CHATZY and open the WIP. I start writing and if I come back and have no words to count...I sheepishly write what I did. When I go back and read that...it shames me into working. LOL I do keep track of my word count every day...and how many days I actually work on a manuscript. I also began noting days with special events --that remind me later why I *didn't* work.

    When he's here...well, his workinging hours are his own and I'll have breakfast with him, wait for him to take off for work, run his errands, stop and cook when he comes home...unless I'm on deadline or a writing roll and then I'll shut the door to my office (yep, I have an entire office with a door) and he'll mostly leave me alone to work.

    I absolutely love when a manuscript screams to be written. I hate synopses and my agent agrees that she hates my synopses (no, not really, it's something I tease her about and THANK HER for the help she gives me all the time!). I'm more of an audible plotter...so I go to lunch or hop on the phone to talk with another writer when I'm stuck. I seem to be one of those people that has the story stuck in their head and if I can tell parts of it...THEN I can write it down.

    My characters ALWAYS surprise me. My husband's favorite story is when I was just beginning to write. He called asked how it was going and here's the conversation:

    "She's dead."
    "What? Who? Do I need to come home?"
    "No. My heroine. She's dead."
    "Well, honey, can't you just go back and delete that part?"
    "You don't understand, I've been to her funeral. It was raining. I fell in the mud."
    "So, if she's dead what does that mean?"
    "I wrote 5 chapters of backstory!"

    That's when my husband knew I was definitely a writer and wired completely differently.

    ~Angi

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  73. The reader needs to FEEL what your character feels not KNOW what your character feels.
    I love the way you put it.

    Mary --Did *I* say that?
    LOL HUGE GRIN
    If I didn't put it that simply before...I think I'm stealing your words to add to the article!

    ~Angi

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  74. Casey --Awesome! Woo Hoo!

    (Seriously, I haven't blogged or shared about writing in quite some time and I'm getting happy thoughts that this is helping!)

    ~Angi

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  75. PattiJo -- I'll take your Georgia Blessings! Thanks! And I thank Levi for giving me the line about sheilding Jo's heart. (shy grin...*I* like it!)

    ~Angi

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  76. Julie --THANK YOU SO MUCH! Glad it helps.

    ~Angi

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  77. Julie --THANK YOU SO MUCH! Glad it helps.

    ~Angi

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  78. I think my social "hour" has extended intself today.

    You gals are great. I haven't had a chance to say THANKS FOR HAVING ME. Tina, you are truly a wonderful hostess.

    I will be back. Keep the comments and questions coming!

    ~Angi

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  79. Hi Angi!

    Love your explanation of showing vs. telling. I always struggle with deeper POV and your post helps so much.

    I cracked up at your conversation with your hubby about the character's funeral. Lol. Reminds me of the 1949 Little Women movie where Beth sees Jo crying over her story and asks Jo if it isn't any good. Jo sobs out, "It's WONDERFUL!" :)

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  80. "She's dead."
    "What? Who? Do I need to come home?"
    "No. My heroine. She's dead."
    "Well, honey, can't you just go back and delete that part?"
    "You don't understand, I've been to her funeral. It was raining. I fell in the mud."
    "So, if she's dead what does that mean?"
    "I wrote 5 chapters of backstory!"



    I LOVE THIS!!! What a lesson for all of us. You are not alone Seekervillians!!! WE ALL DO THIS WHEN WE START WRITING!!!!

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  81. I would like to point out this sentence that may have gotten lost..

    I hate synopses and my agent agrees that she hates my synopses (no, not really, it's something I tease her about and THANK HER for the help she gives me all the time!)


    There is a myth among unpublished writers and I fell for it hook, line and you know what, ...that once you sell you never write a synopsis again.

    WRONG! I am sure there are folks who defy this principle. (Go to the back of the room whoever you are.)

    I entered only contests with no synopsis or those where they were no scored because I believed this theory. Synopsis were only for contests when you totally HAD to.

    Nope. Nope. Nope. I have had to learn to write one. Not just learn to write one, but learn to write one that can sell a book.

    Not an easy task. Still a work in progress. So while you can learn to write one.

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  82. Welcome, Angi! A seriously informative and instructional post, but to be honest . . . you hooked me with those TEXAS pins!!! While I'm loving every minute of my new life in the Carolinas, Texas will always be my "heart home."

    Back to deep POV, this was probably the one aspect of writing that has taken me the longest to learn. And I still have trouble getting it right! Thanks for the clear explanations and specific examples!

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  83. Natalie --That's true. One of my favorite parts of ROMANCING THE STONE is when Joan is crying when hearing her story end. Sometimes, you just can't believe you actually wrote something that good.

    ~Angi

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  84. ~~ SEEKERVILLIANS ~~

    Nope...you aren't alone!
    ~Angi

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  85. Angi,

    thanks for coming to Seekerville again. Great post.

    I get the concept of deep POV. And am trying to use to utilize it more.

    But there are times writer's get into it and it drives me bonkers. I guess because I feel like they're rushing me through the story and wished there was some down time.

    And honestly, I like a telling moment every now and then.

    maybe I'm just old school.

    blessings

    Tina P.

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  86. That's so funny and so true. Ever read something of yours that has been sitting in a dust pile for months. You're sort of shaking your head and blinking. "I wrote that?"

    When you are in the midst of another project and think everything you write is drivel, well that's such a burst of sunshine!

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  87. I think you're right, Angi, that tv shows and movies have helped us break rules... or open them up.

    Before shows like "Scrubs" when the character addresses the camera and the audience, or the red flags pop up all over, or we see four alternate choices, it was fairly straightforward.

    Their success with that has opened doors for writing omniscient scenes (which Clive Cussler has done all along) and interjecting the author.

    It's fun in a different kind of way.

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  88. Great info, Angi. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to read Dangerous Memories.

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  89. This is a fantastic blog. I have to print it and work my way through it.
    Thanks so much!

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  90. Welcome to Seekerville, Jen Fitzgerald. We are loving those rock star sunglasses.

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  91. Tina R --I am here to tell you that even an editor who loves the idea of your book, who you've sold two books to before and knows your writing, will still reject an idea if the synopsis isn't good.

    Intrigues are a hero-driven story. I wrote a synopsis with the emphasis on the heroine and was promptly rejected. So learning how to write a synopsis that sells is still an on-going process. My agent and I both learned a leason from that synopsis. There wasn't anything bad...I just didn't address the concerns/emphasis of the line/publisher.

    Have I mentioned that I HATE writing a synopsis!
    ~Angi

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  92. Myra --My pleasure helping with the examples. And good luck with the heart magnets. I saw them in a "TEXAS" store and had to share. (Okay, I admit that I bought two sets. one for me to keep.)

    ~Angi

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  93. I have a hard time with this subject, I have to admit. It isn't that I don't understand deep POV, although it did take me a while to "get it." But I don't want my reader to feel manipulated, and sometimes, when I read certain authors, I do feel like their "deep POV" is a little manipulative and phony. Sometimes I want to say, Please! Just give me the facts! I'll interpret them the way I want to!

    Does this make sense? I do agree that telling too much is very boring and not engaging, but ... I think it can be overdone. Just wonder what others' thoughts are.

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  94. ~~READING OLD STUFF~~

    I'm actually going through old manuscripts where I love the plot and the characters and CRINGING at the bad writing.

    I'm so so ready to find something that "I can't believe I wrote."

    ~Angi

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  95. Tina P --I don't think you're alone. And really believe that there are telling moments that need to be in the book.

    I admit, my books are fast-paced and dialogue heavy. Romantic Suspense or Romantic Action/Adventure doesn't allow for a lot of down time. (You can almost always expect the bad guy to hit if the hero and heroine are resting...LOL.)

    Sometimes, I just tell that they moved from one place to another, or that they did several things (like bought new clothes, got a bite to eat), things that the reader needs to know happened...but they don't need to SEE happen.

    ~Angi

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  96. Ruth --ABSOLUTELY ! TV & Movies have helped prepare readers for more options. But beware...it also makes them expect more too.

    ~Angi

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  97. Jen --You are one of the few people around who will know the end of the funeral scene as soon as she has time to open the document! SHHHH ! You're only allowed to say how wonderful it is!!!

    ~Angi

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  98. Janet --THANKS SO MUCH. I will be surfing all the articles/posts this month.

    ~Angi

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  99. Angi said: "Sometimes, you just can't believe you actually wrote something that good."

    This week I've been working on a talk I'll be giving next month and selecting excerpts from a couple of my books to read. It's kind of fun coming across a passage and thinking, "Yep, not bad. Not bad at all."

    As for the Texas magnets, I'm pouting because as a Seeker I am not eligible for the drawing--BOO HOO!

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  100. Melanie --I can't emphasize enough on finding the stories that you love, taking a copy, and analyzing it. Stories we love and stories we hate can be disected to find out exactly HOW they're written and what makes (or keeps us from) resonating with them.

    It's my belief that when you find what works for YOU. You'll find your voice. And when you find your voice, that's the unique part of story-telling that's completely yours and makes people begin disecting YOUR work.

    When I was on the contest circuit--I found out very early-on that 2/3rds of the people who read my work LOVED it. I was completely upset by the 1/3rd who didn't love it. An author told me that 2/3rds was a very decent return audience and to appreciate those return sales! Her confidence in me, kept me writing for another --IDK--7 or 8 years that it took me to sell?

    I have said this to a lot of people this week so I think someone's trying to tell me something: It's your writing, your career, you choose the path you need to follow.

    Whew --my personal blog was even reflecting that wisdom I picked up. For some reason, I've been posting pictures about paths all week. >>AngiMorganAuthor.wordpress.com <<

    ~Angi

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  101. FOR ALL OF YOU who might want to look at "Texas" stuff. One of my favorite stores.

    http://store.txtreasures.com/index.html

    ~Angi

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  102. I always love instruction on deep POV. Your lesson I found extremely helpful. Thank you.

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  103. Elizabeth --THANKS so very much !

    ~Angi

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  104. Ooh, that's a great site. And I've always been a fan of South Oklahoma as we Okies call it.

    What I found odd when I moved to Colorado is I never see a cowboy hat. In Oklahoma it was pretty normal. Not in Colorado. Strange.

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  105. Oh my goodness, Angi mentioned she was over at Seekerville, so I popped over to say hi to one of my favorite blogs again, and I see you're all up to your old antics again. Talking about food and baking. Thanks a lot, GFs.

    Despite that my mouth is water, doesn't Angi have the best advice and offer the best examples.

    Well done! So great to see everyone. Keep up the good work! I don't have to tell you to stay out of the kitchen

    I am trying a pork roast with apricot glaze with red potatoes for dinner tonight by the way! Ha! Revenge is sweet :)))))

    Best wishes, Seekerville!

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  106. Directions to your house, Donnell!

    I am close enough to actually show up. HA!

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  107. What a wonderful post (like all of the other blogs this week)! Love your examples. Thanks for stopping by, Angi!

    Seekerville rocks!

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  108. I think I like the Texas shaped magnet best! :D

    Love this:
    "EVERY word and phrase has a purpose & should be used to its fullest potential."

    And this:
    "Deep POV ties emotion to actions and reactions, and connects the current action to what’s going on inside the character’s head (introspection, emotion, reaction)."

    Okay... I guess I can't quote the entire post!

    Excellent, Angi! Thank you for sharing. I'm saving this one in my writing tips files and sharing it with my friends.

    This is how I strive to write, so I need it as a reminder! Here's the opening of my WIP - slightly tweaked rough draft, that is:

    If Tiffany Nash’s nerves wound any tighter, she’d snap like a guitar string. She followed Reece Carrington to his office bracing her self for – What?

    “Here we are. Please. Have a seat. Make yourself comfortable.” When he closed the door, her senses shifted to high alert. “Would you like a Coke? Sweet tea? Anything?”

    She faced him, her body so brittle the least little move and she just might shatter. And he wanted her to relax? Get comfortable? Ha! Like that was going to happen.

    He popped open a mini-frig that hadn’t been there with the last bank manager. Courtesy of his father the bank president, maybe? His brows raised, but he said nothing more.

    She cleared her throat. “Nothing for me, thanks.”

    He shrugged, grabbed a Coke and settled behind his desk. She pivoted just enough to face him, keeping the door in her periphery. He took a swig of soda, set the can down and cleared his throat.

    “I like what I see.” The intensity in his pale gray eyes unnerved her. She sucked in a breath and took an involuntary step back. He leaned forward, resting his chin in hand. “Since I’ve been here I’ve watched you train new CSR’s, assist the others in the transition of having a new boss, and run the schedule with precision… I’ve never heard a single complaint about scheduling and everyone actually gets along. I have to tell you, I’m very impressed.”

    She swallowed hard, clasped her hands in front of her and squeezed tight. “Really?” Was that her voice that sounded so small and… needy?

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  109. Tina, 6:30.... Bring Miss Audra with you. I'll make extra. :)))

    Good job, Angi!!! Love the haircut by the way!

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  110. TINA:
    You might try my method of synopsis writing. The nice thing about it is you start with the bare bones and then add as much as you want to it. If you need a one pager, it's great. If you need one of those 5 or 10 pagers, it should work for that, too.

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  111. Tina --uhm South Oklahoma? I'm going to ignore that. Seriously...just walking away...grabbing that calming glass of... of... well, it's actually water.

    Ignoring,
    ~Angi

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  112. Donnell, Pork roast? Apricot glaze? Seriously?

    I'm gaining weight just being a guest blogger. Not fair.

    ~Angi
    (THANKS FOR DROPPING BY!)

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  113. Callie --appreciate your posting!

    ~Angi

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  114. Linnette --Pretty good for your draft. Thanks so much for sharing and I think you're getting the hand of Deep POV.

    ~Angi

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  115. Popping back in real quick. Will be honest and just did a search for my name rather than scroll through.

    Can anyone point me to a book with multiple 1st person POV? I write alternating chapters, but all first person. First chapter him. Second chapter her. Or whatever.

    Melissa - glad you're loving 1k1hr on FB. I do too!

    Now to try to get rid of the headache...

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  116. Just got here, a little late to the party (again... thank goodness it's Friday!) Had another job interview this morning (second one for this position!) and then had to cover a car accident this afternoon. Looking forward to relaxing this weekend to do some editing!

    Angi, great post. I feel like there is so much here to ponder and think on and absorb. I might have to go back through my MS and find where I've been guilty of a few of these things!

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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  117. Carol, I can't think of any adult books right now that use multiple first person POV, but I used to read the Babysitter's Club, and it was frequently used in their special edition books. Each babysitter would get a chapter to themselves. I always liked them, because it was fun to get into their heads and see the story from multiple POVs.

    I know that's a little dated, and it's YA lit, but hey, I loved those when I was 12!

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  118. Angie,
    I love Deep POV!!! But it's tough to explain. You've done a great job! Kudos!

    Always fun to have you visit Seekerville. I still remember how excited I was when you received your Golden Heart!!! Way to go!!!

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  119. Carol, look up Lisa Samson's books. Check out Tiger Lillie.

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  120. Just remember Speedo Participants..this is a terrific post for NEXT month when you edit all the stuff you wrote THIS month.

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  121. Awesome topic! I'm going to print it and post it beside my computer! Wonderful info and very timely!
    Thank you!

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  122. Oh my stars!!! Stephanie I was just looking at them today at a bookstore! I wonder if I have any still at home...

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  123. Carol --Good luck with that headache. ACK! Hate those.

    ~Angi

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  124. Stephanie --Best of luck with that job interview!! And thanks for the recommendations on multiple 1st POVs. I just know that I have friends who are pursuing that venue and that's about it.

    ~Angi

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  125. Debby --Pleasure as always! And thanks for the reminder about the Golden Heart. One of my favorite moments for sure!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for everyone who may have entered! I think the announcements are next weekend aren't they?

    ~Angi

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  126. Rebecca --So glad I could be here and that I've been helpful. Definitely feels good today.

    ~Angi

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  127. Angie - way back hours ago, you asked about Twitter.

    I'm @maryc2010

    Just followed you.

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  128. NEXT WEEKEND????

    Golden Heart and RITA announcements are MONDAY. MONDAY!!!!!!!!!

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  129. Oh Angie, I love this -

    "I'm more of an audible plotter...so I go to lunch or hop on the phone to talk with another writer when I'm stuck."

    My best brainstorming pal moved away and I've been lost without someone to bounce things off of. Hope this doesn't sound too pathetic but I've discovered I can talk into the voice recorder of my iPod while I'm walking and it's almost as good because I'm talking about the story (even if I'm talking to myself).

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  130. Great post! Welcome to Seekerville Angi!

    It took me years to figure out the difference between telling and showing. I think I got it now! But reading a book with a lot of telling doesn't bother me at all.

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  131. Mary --Followed you back :-) & I'm so glad you can listen your voice. I'm such a Texan it really bothers me...don't know how everyone listens to me ramble.

    Tina --ugh, you just ruined my weekend ! LOL

    ~Angi

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  132. Cary --Thanks for the welcome. It has been an awesome day! So glad I was invited. And like I said, find what you like and hang on to it.

    ~Angi

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  133. Thank you!!! After over a year of revisions on different manuscripts, I'm finally writing fresh stuff and need to remind myself of good craft. Thank you!

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  134. Angi! Thank you so much for spending the day with us for sharing on DEEP POV. We wish you continued success and hope you'll come back again.

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  135. Jessica --Congratulations for moving forward. Revissions are hard, but a necessary evil! Good for you that you stuck with them.

    But cheeers on new WIPs !! And best of luck.

    ~Angi

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  136. It's ALWAYS a pleasure to talk shop with other writers, but here on SEEKERVILLE it's also enjoyable!

    Thanks so much for the invite and pleasant day!

    You gals are going to visit my own "beach" and Get Lost in a Story sometime...right?

    ~Angi
    >>GetLostInAStory.blogspot.com<<

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  137. I especially appreciate the part about the character only noticing the scenery if it applies to them. We've discussed that in my critique group but I wasn't quite sure how to express my thoughts about when things like comments about curtains were needed and when they weren't. Thanks for writing it out so clearly.

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  138. The examples highlighted your points very well thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  139. Waving hello, hello to Angi. I didn't have the opportunity to stop by Seekerville yesterday, so am catching up. Thanks for the post. I appreciate the mention of how a character does (or doesn't) notice her/his surroundings -- and I definitely like the second, more active, example.

    Nancy C

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  140. Very helpful post! I love getting into my characters' heads! I can visualize those flower wreaths flying in your funeral scene! Thanks for the tips!

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  141. Sparrow --I've convinced many a writer with that example. LOL Good luck using it with your group!

    ~Angi

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  142. Marybelle --Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the examples.

    ~Angi

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  143. Nancy C -- WOO HOO ! Glad I could help you...keep up your word count on your BIAY challenge ! You're doing great so far!

    ~Angi

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  144. Heather --Really glad that scene works and others can see it like I did. Thanks for letting me know.

    ~Angi

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