I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Writing in Deep Point of View

The mother of a talented teenage writer recently asked me to review a portion of her daughter’s novel. It thrills me to see talented young writers pursuing their dreams. While I found much to praise in her work, I suggested she study “deep point of view”.

Writers speak of it often, but I wanted to direct this teenager to an article explaining the concept. That proved difficult to find. We’ve mentioned it here, but I wanted something in detail.

Deep Point of View isn’t “active voice” or even “showing rather than telling,” although those concepts improve any writing, from essays to novels.

 Writing in “deep point of view” means rather than peeking over the shoulder of someone, you’re inside the character’s skin. You see what they see, hear what they hear, touch what they touch, etc. You think their thoughts.

Instead of writing, she saw a feather flutter to the ground; you write, a feather fluttered to the ground.

More examples: She felt the icy rain run down her back. (Not deep POV.) Icy rain drizzled inside her collar.  (Deep POV.)

If you want to write in deep point of view, beware of phrases such as, she saw, she felt, she wondered, etc. Just state the action.

Another point vital to this concept: don’t label emotions. Take a look at the following examples.

Sarah felt happy at the beach.

Sarah squished her feet in the hot sand then sprinted full speed into the waves.

You can include some physiological responses. Depending upon your scene, you might have goose bumps, dizziness, nausea, sweating, etc. Again, use strong verbs for these. The sweat trickled down her neck. Remember, she cannot see her own face blush. But you can write: A rush of heat stung her face.

Words such as felt, watched, thought, wondered, considered, and so on, yank the reader out of this deep point of view.

One last observation. Since you’re right in the character’s skin while writing this way, it’s essential to make your main character likeable. No one wants to be inside the head of Miss Smarty Pants or Mr. Joe Too Cool.

Any questions? Or do you have more suggestions for writing in Deep POV?

Photo by freedigitalphotos

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Delores E. Topliff
In life and writing, too much unremitting sameness, even of very good things, decreases our interest. Instead the juxtaposition of unlikely items together for comparison or contrast generates new deeper responses like adding the right spice to transform bland cooking. The best hero needs a human flaw, and the worst villain some endearing or redeeming quality. My recent trip to Israel provided many vignettes inviting fresh comparisons.

For example, Orthodox Jewish rabbis there wear long black coats and flat black hats. Married men of Russian background wear large expensive round fur hats made from 14 sable fur tails. All Hasidic men and boys, no matter which hat they wear, grow long curled earlocks that bounce with every step. I watched one soberly-clad rabbi grasp a young daughter by each hand as all three happily skipped down the road together unashamed. Such scenes carve a special place in memory. In the Old City, a fast walking boy maybe age 10 wearing a junior-size long black coat and flat black hat hurried through Old Jerusalem’s narrow twisting streets toward the larger modern city beyond carrying a skateboard over each shoulder. I wanted to follow him to watch.

We faced travel challenges. After our rental car's battery died and cost us four hours, our gracious bed and breakfast hostess in Arad SE of the Dead Sea tried to tell us a shortcut, but the soldier at that road checkpoint turned us back because there had been trouble. That broadly smiling khaki-clad Uzi-carrying young IDF soldier said he’s been to the U.S. three times, loves it and us, and gave us a giant chocolate bar plus four silver and red foil-wrapped chocolate hearts while thanking us for coming.

Traffic in Jerusalem, especially during high feast days, defies description. We saw twentieth century cars get stuck going opposite directions through narrow Herod’s Gate in the Old City, built in 1538. One car was driven by a woman, the other by a rabbi, necessitating a gesturing policeman, the rabbi’s young son, and many passersby on bikes, foot, some pushing baby buggies, to all give advice while measuring how near each vehicle came to scraping rock walls. The woman finally backed up.

The juxtapositions of tough tender soldiers, young Orthodox boys with a few modern trappings, and ancient gates that once knew horses, camels and donkeys now accepting sleek high-octane horsepower, are wonderful vignettes cementing people, conversations, and scenes into unforgettable places in my or readers’ hearts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I pay the price to go to conferences

By Jennie Atkins

            I love writer’s conferences, especially ACFW. It is a time of recharging, despite the long hours, starting before breakfast and often going long into the night. It is a time of encouragement and learning. It is a time of catching up with other writers  that I usually only connect with through Facebook and the random email.  Shown here with me are Jeanne Takenaka and Ginger Takamiya both winners of the MBT Frasier contest, 2014 and 2012 respectively.

This year was no different. But then again, it was.
The publishing industry is changing. I believe I noticed the change more this time because it had been two years since my last ACFW conference. Publishers are plunging into different formats, such as e-books. Big house publishers accept the fact that authors are now pursuing avenues to publish independently. Editors are being more and more cautious in the works they take, or markets they intend to pursue. Like most businesses, the goal is more about the possible profits than new development. I don’t blame them, having worked in high-profile corporations for more decades than I care to admit,  I understand completely. But the sad news seems to be, the day of wandering through massive book stores, taking in the scent of fresh ink, and perusing a long bookshelf containing one genre are gone.
The truth is Amazon.com has changed the face of publishing.
By no means does this mean as writers we should ditch our pens, paper, and computers and search for a different creative outlet.
It means we need to be focus on our craft and never, never settle for the status quo. Writers need to read more, study more, and learn more. They need to connect with other writers, critique groups, and seminars that teach writing skills. Yes, I've read some poorly written books, some by New York Times best-selling authors that sell. But now is the time for a new breed of writers to penetrate the market. Ones who want to put out a quality story that keeps their readers glued to the page and wanting for more from that author.
Your turn:  What was your take away from the ACFW conference or any other conference you've attended recently?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 ACFW from my Perspective...

Patricia Bradley

For those of you who tuned in to see what Delores was posting about today, she's not here. She's in ISRAEL!! Go Dee! She will blog about her trip in my spot on the 14th, so don't miss it!

But I'm here, ready to tell you about the 2014 ACFW Conference in St. Louis...

First of all, I attended Thursday's Early Bird session with Christopher Vogler, learning about the Hero's Journey. Such an encouraging man! Bought the only book he brought--he didn't know it, but I was going home with that book. 

Another a-ma-zing thing about the conference was the daily Praise and Worship sessions led by the a-ma-zing Rachel Hauck. It was a perfect way to start each morning off.

This is a morning session with hands raised, praising God.

Then, I went to Michelle Lim's  class on brainstorming and boy, did she help me get past the hump where I was stuck in my WIP. Congratulations Michelle for winning the Genesis in Romantic Suspense! And to all the winners and finalists. 

Somehow I didn't get pictures of Jennifer Dornbush's class on getting your forensics right or the class on Scrivener, but they were great! The last class I took was Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck's class on Staying Published. That class sent me home fired up and ready to start writing! 

Before I was published I went to conference mainly to get requests for a proposal on my manuscripts from editors and agents. I was usually too nervous to focus on classes. Now I go to conferences to actually attend workshops, network and see old friends!  Can you tell I didn't know what to do with my left arm?

Me with Beth White and Pam Hillman

But it wasn't all work as you can see in the next photos. In the first one, I'm holding up the Arch. Aren't you glad? The other one was taken late at night from near the hotel. 

If you get a chance to go to a writer's conference, go, especially ACFW. So, what do you like best about conferences? Leave a comment and let me know!

Patricia Bradley
Follow me on Twitter: @PTBradley1
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Shadows of the Past - Revell February 2014 
A Promise To Protect - Revell October 2014
Matthew's Choice - Heartwarming September 2014
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