Monday, October 12, 2015

Proximate Point of View, on Writing Talk Tuesday


Proximate Point of View

Hello, my name is Paula Mowery, and I have an obsession for using point of view correctly and expertly. The authors I edit for in my role as editor for Prism Book Group can all attest to this as well as those attendees to my point of view classes at writing conferences.

Point of view can simply be defined as the character the reader is experiencing the story through at any given moment. The term, deep point of view, has been coined to represent that state at which the writer has successfully allowed the reader to sense everything the character is sensing and be pulled into that story as if he or she was that character.

I’ve coined my own term for this: Proximate Point of View.

Proximate means very near. This is exactly what I want to achieve in my stories. I want my reader to feel very near to the characters. The closer my reader can feel to my characters, the better experience they will have while traveling through my story.

What specific ways do I achieve this proximate point of view?

I make sure that I stay in only one character’s POV in each scene. No head-hopping.

I only write what my POV character can sense. For example, my character can’t see her own face turn red.

I get rid of telling words like thought and felt. There is no reason to say that my POV character thought something or felt a certain way. That’s a given in his POV. I just state what was thought or felt.

I show what happens to my POV character in order of occurrence. For example, I wouldn’t write that my character screamed after the door slammed. I write it in order. The door slammed then she screamed.

I consider exactly what my POV character would be thinking. I might include internal questions.

I try to show emotions instead of naming them. For example, stating a character is mad isn’t as effective as writing: She gritted her teeth and clenched her fists.

By striving to incorporate these specific areas of point of view into my writing, I’m allowing my reader to come in closer to my characters. I’m hopefully accomplishing proximate point of view.

Personally, those books I’ve read which have made an impact upon me and left me wanting more are those in which I felt very close to the characters. I sensed their pain and even cried with them. I chuckled at times. I feared for them and hoped for them. What I’ve found to be the key to those types of reading experiences is the author’s use of proximate point of view.


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I'm a pastor's wife and a former homeschool Mom. I'm also a Christian writer and winner of the 2014 Selah Award in the novella category. My articles have appeared in Woman's World and in my ongoing column on I also write Christian fiction. My debut novella, THE BLESSING SEER came out July 6, 2012 from Pelican Book Group. The sequel, BE THE BLESSING, released Sept. 13, 2013. I am an author and acquisitions editor with Prism Book Group. My story, Forgiven, is in the anthology, Brave New Century which released Nov. 13, 2013. This book appeared on Amazon's Top 100 Bestsellers in Religious Historical Fiction. My first solo romance released in March, Legacy and Love.

Visit Paula on her blog at:


Okay, writers and readers, what books have you read recently that have had an impact on you because you've been drawn closely to the characters, leaving you wanting more? Please share in the comments section below. Thanks

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