Friday, October 26, 2012

Stepping Out of the Way (Author Intrusion and Deep Point of View)

He saw the girl. She's cute, he thought.

In these two sentences, I shared with the reader what the little boy saw and what he thinks. While doing so, I intruded into the reader experience and placed myself between the reader and what the character is experiencing.

For a cleaner, deeper point of view, and hopefully, stronger reader connection and experience, the little boy's experience might consist of the following:

Why did everything look so fuzzy?

He fiddled with the knob in the middle of the binoculars.


Near the tent under the tree, the girl sat on the ground and talked with her friends.

Her shiny pony-tail, the color of sunshine, swished. Her eyes, a deeper blue than the early morning sky, went wide.

She looked straight at him.


More words, but we as readers stayed inside the character's head. There's no telling that he saw or that he thought.

A few examples of words that serve as an author filter between the reader and the character include:
  • thought
  • wondered
  • considered
  • knew
  • realized
  • noticed
  • saw
  • studied
  • watched
  • remembered
For instance, remembered, as a filter, and with the filter removed would include:


He remembered just how S'mores tasted.


S'mores. How long had it been since he'd had one? The crunch of the graham crackers. The smoosh of the marshmallow. The smoothness of melting chocolate. All heated by the toasted marshmallow. A slow spreading sweetness that filled his mouth and took over his happy taste buds. If only he had one now.

Take away the Author Intrusion, and you have Deep Point of View, which leads to a much more appreciated and enjoyable reader experience.

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