Writing to Market or Writing From the Heart

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The question for this month is: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

Writing to Market or Writing From the Heart

My answer to this month’s question is both, depending on the project.

Grendel’s Mother was born from the heart. I gave a female who had no voice in Beowulf—a woman made into a monster—a voice. It was my first book published as an indie publisher.

Two romances, traditionally published in the 90s—were written to market, though my heart was in their locations.

Tomorrow’s Wish for Love, originally published as Tomorrow’s Wishes, is a sweet romance written specifically for Avalon Books who published only to libraries. This book takes place in Grady County, Georgia where I lived for nine years.

Love’s New Beginnings, originally published as New Beginnings, is likewise a sweet romance written for Avalon Books. This book takes place in Calhoun County, Michigan where I was raised and lived currently.

Once I got the rights back, I retitled, revised, and updated them, and gave each a new cover.

Determined Hearts was a book written from my heart, though I had been considering its possible market. It was my second book ever written and it became my first book traditionally sold, published as The Man on the Romance Cover. Once I had the rights back, like the other two romances, I revamped the title, cover, and updated the content.

My cookbook, The Super Simple Easy Basic Cookbook, was born of my lifetime collection of recipes. The bonus of publishing it? Now everyone else had easy access to my recipes…well, for a price.

David & Goliath was truly born of my heart. It’s a book in screenplay format and is a suspense thriller, a category I’m returning to. D&G was one of three scripts I wrote that year.

Miss Mississippi was a script I plotted to market, having researched that I discovered 7 of the top 10 movies—comedies—that year had men in dresses, but then the writing totally came from the heart. That’s the script I optioned and it still gets interest, though now it needs a massive rewrite.

Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot was born both of my heart and written to market. The topic is one I talk a lot about: how to find your passion, your purpose, how Universal Laws operate, and the book is based on my journey of these topics. I’ve had people telling me I needed to write the book, so I finally did.

With students, teachers, and other writers telling me that I needed to write my plagiarism how-not-to book, and my grammar and punctuation book, along with other writing craft topics I’ve taught over the years, these will be upcoming non-fiction how-to books…written from the heart but with the consideration to market.

Writing to market is okay, but writing from the heart is the best because I’m fully engaged and interested as much as the readers will be once I publish the book.

*****

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

Posted in #IWSG, Blogging, Writing Behind the Scenes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Your Purpose as a Writer

Think back to your early days as a writer.

If your early days were as a child, your answer will be different from that of an adult. So, if you started as a child, consider your answer when you first began writing, and then consider a second answer of why you wanted to continue writing as an adult.

I can’t say I had a set-the-world-on-fire purpose or even one that served others as I began writing when I was 19, and then would pursue the craft more enthusiastically at 25.

My first intent was to make money.

My second intent was to get my name in print.

Once I started writing romances, my intent was to become rich and famous like so many other romance writers. I thought of romances as the easiest of genres to write being such a fan, reading one a day. In truth, I’ve discovered of all the writing I’ve done in multiple genres, the romance genre is the hardest of them all.

As I wrote those novels—that received rejections—I was writing inspirational and how-to magazines articles that were selling. I found satisfaction in helping others. The more acceptances I received, which included a weekly newspaper column and then a magazine column, I realized I could help other writers.

My third intent became to help other writers.

With that intent and with the traditional publication of three romances, I got to help other writers by teaching writing craft classes both online and in-seat at a local community college. I started writing screenplays, finding a great love for that genre.

Then, a life-changing event had me reconsidering my writing, which up until that time had been part-time, coming secondary after every day job I’d ever worked and every other responsibility of family and home.

What if I could change that scenario and make my day job part of my purpose? To help other writers?

That’s exactly what I did. After going back to school as a non-traditional (meaning older) student, I became an English Professor, the dream of all dreams. I had managed to combine my purposes. I was teaching the craft of writing by day and writing by night.

And, that scenario continues today as a full-time writer having published the first of my how-to series of books, Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot, which is also the basis for the class I’m teaching August 1-12, 2022, Bringing Abundance Into Your Life.

Did you notice how my purpose changed over the years? How long it took me to find my true purpose?

Not everyone struggles the same way I did. I know some writers who found their purpose and their writing niche quickly.

I know one writer who found her genre niche but needed to rebrand herself to find her audience and market.

I know another highly successful romance writer who is changing subgenres, staying in romance but moving from contemporary to historical.

I know several successful romance writers who moved to paranormal, mysteries, or suspense, leaving romance behind altogether.

While I believe a lot of writers start writing with the idea of making lots of money, and starting with a popular genre—after all romances are half of all paperbacks sold—I believe, too, that they find their heartfelt purpose is to entertain. Well, and to earn a living from their writing.

How about you?

What is your purpose for writing?

To entertain? To become a best-selling author? To write a memoir so that you can leave a legacy for your family? To become famous? To win awards?

By the way, I have a new added purpose: To win an Oscar for Original Screenplay and to purchase a huge house that I can staff and run as a Writing Retreat Center where I can continue to help writers in another way.

Dream big or go home, right?

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Living in Fiction

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The question for this month is: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

Living in Fiction

I had to really think about this month’s question. I considered the time periods of movies, made from books, that I repeatedly watch like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and others of that era. While I love the stories, I’m not sure I’d like the restrictions women lived under. In some instances, they couldn’t even marry for love.

While I enjoy reading about women in medieval times, those living conditions were even worse! And, medical care was horrible back then. I would have died in childbirth.

I enjoy watching The Martian every time it’s on TV, a movie made from Andy Wier’s book by the same title. A book that was a page-turner for me. A book I read in one sitting. But again, it’s not a world I want to live in.

In further consideration of which world, my gaze landed on my covers that are on the wall opposite my desk. As I’ve been finishing Arrested Pleasures, the #3 story in the Laurel Ridge Novella series, and having read the story five times in June as I proofed it, laughing out loud every time at the same spots, I considered their world.

Located in the Deep South—an area I loved when living there—and a modern-day, contemporary time period, I can easily see myself in their world. Additionally, as I’ve been getting to know these 7 couples, each pair represented with their own story, I’ve come to not only like them but to enjoy their company. Yup, you heard me right.

They have become as real as my actual friends. They’re funny, smart, and live simply but with purpose. These 7 couples and other secondary characters have been traveling with me from room to room and journey with me in the car, shopping with me, too. They’re entertaining, engaging, caring people who I’m going to sadly miss once the series is finished.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they came to life in a televised series?

I can only dream…and manifest.

*****

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

Posted in #IWSG, Writing Behind the Scenes | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

How to Become a Writing Maverick: aka, a task-oriented and persistent writer

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The questions for this month are:  When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If [you] have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is, and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

How to Become a Writing Maverick: aka, a task-oriented and persistent writer

What do I use to help me find my groove when starting to write?

  1. I’ll listen to genre mood music, usually soundtracks from favorite movies; or, I’ll listen to sounds of nature.
  2. I’ll just start writing, knowing the first couple page equates to priming the writing pump so that the well of words will flow easily. These first few pages will probably be garbage and that’s okay.

If I haven’t started the writing yet, why do I think that is?

  1. I’m procrastinating. Climbing any new mountain looks daunting. I’ll find a writing task to do instead.
  2. I’m exhausted from finishing the last project. I’ve learned I need a short break between major projects. That’s when I’ll file papers, clean off my desk, and perform other types of writing tasks.

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do I keep myself writing to the end?

  1. I gut it out. I put my butt in the seat and make myself write the words.
  2. I write every day. Even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. If that’s all I can accomplish that day, it’s enough.
  3. I write first drafts now by ignoring the mistakes, the rules, and the inconsistencies because this is where I can get taken down by trying to rewrite before the first draft is finished.
    1. It happened with Grendel’s Mother, which was a 10-year process, with a 7-year gap between starting the first draft and its completion. The first three years, I spent rewriting the first 40 pages multiple times.
    2. It happened with my Laurel Ridge Novella series, where the first book, Shattered Dreams (#1), was published, and now five years later where I’ve just published Burning Desire (#2), and have Arrested Pleasure (#3) set up as a pre-order. I discovered I had to write all of the following six books as first drafts before I could publish #2. The other four books of the series will be published closely behind #3.

Every day is about priming that pump, finding that zone.

If I can’t find the zone, I just write anyway. I know from experience that without any words placed on the page, I’ve got nothing to work with later.

Some days it’s easy, other days it’s not. But the end result, the opening of that box of new books, is always the same. Pure ecstasy.


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

Posted in #amwriting, #IWSG, Grendel's Mother - Book, Laurel Ridge novellas, Persistance | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Pssst – Wanna Learn the Secret to Writing Every Day?

I’m in a lot of online writer forums where I see the same repeated question coming from new writers. How do I find the motivation to write every day?

My answer is: Use Jerry Seinfeld’s “productivity secret,” where his goal was to write jokes every day, thus allowing him to mark that day on the calendar with a big Red X.

I started using his secret method on January 1, 2013, the semester I began writing my dissertation from the extensive outline I had created the semester before.

By early February 2013, I saw a pattern emerging. Red Xs from Thursday through Monday, but nothing on Tuesday and Wednesday. During that winter semester, I was teaching five classes total: two afternoon and one evening on Tuesday, one on Wednesday afternoon, and the last on Thursday afternoon. I’d celebrate getting through another week’s worth of teaching by going home and writing that night.

When my sister died in mid-February, there were fewer Red Xs for a couple weeks, even though from the other side, she encouraged me to keep writing. By the end of February, I realized if I was going to keep my April dissertation defense date, I had to step it up. Yet, that earlier pattern persisted. As that defense date drew closer, I knew I had to make a serious adjustment to my writing schedule.

I kicked the writing into high gear. Despite my full teaching load of five classes and performing only the minimum of household duties once home, I’d write until midnight or one a.m. every night. I remember having carried a grocery list for six weeks before I finally made it to the store. Thankfully, I had a well-stocked pantry and made do with what I had. My other saving grace was that I lived alone and had no pets.

My daily routine was to sleep, teach, and write, putting off anything and everything else that I could. Socialization and time spent online came to a screeching halt. I went through a lot of drive-throughs during that time and would pick up cereal and milk at the gas station.

When I look back at the calendar of March and April that year, I see that Seinfeld’s trick worked. From mid-March onward, the calendar became a continuous red serpentine of big, bright Xs.

March 2013

I defended my dissertation on time and graduated that summer on schedule. 

As I continued teaching full-time, a pattern would emerge, then change as each semester’s schedule changed with short interruptions of illness, my mother dying in 2014, and my being involved in a 22-car pileup later that year. And then, at the end of 2015, I retired.

I started my production company in March 2016 and have been writing and publishing ever since. The Red Xs weren’t continuous in the beginning. There were as many days without those Red Xs as there were days with them. But, in the last few years, the Red Xs far outnumber the few non-writing days.

It’s a rare month that has all the days marked. Everyone needs a day off now and then, but it makes me happy to see the majority of days with Red Xs.

Those Red Xs back in 2013 were a source of motivation to keep me going each day while I worked full time and still am even in retirement. But also, those Red Xs are a source of pride, showing that it is possible to do what I had always dreamed of—writing full-time. A topic I wrote about in a recent release: Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot. How to find that motivation you desire.

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Writing Highs and Lows

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The question for this month is:  It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

Writing Highs and Lows

In the beginning…

It was a good thing I didn’t know of the lows that were to come because those lows could have fractured my early naive passion for wanting to be an author.

As it was, I started with my own insecure low, not believing I could write a novel. That I needed to start small and work my way up.

So, I did, starting with magazine articles and short stories (pre-internet days) and a newspaper column, traveling a path that today has me as an indie publisher.

The highs are:

  • Seeing my name in print, my words on the page.
  • Getting a phone call early on in my career from a complete stranger, an older gentleman from Oklahoma who shared my husband’s first name and my former last name, and who wanted my help in finding his own inspiration based on my inspirational article he’d just read.
  • Learning of readers who look forward to my next book or who just read one of my books and liked/loved it.
  • Helping other writers, sharing with them what I’ve learned.
  • Opening a box of newly published books. Opening those boxes never gets old.
  • Seeing my book on a library or bookstore shelf.
  • Being driven to write the next story, with characters following me around, plots wanting further development, and projects clamoring to be finished.
  • Sending a finished project out into the universe.
  • Being alone in my workspace and being surrounded by books. This was a vision I always had from the beginning.
  • Being able to have a day job that embraced my writing passion. It happened when I became a professor of writing.

In the early days, I saw rejections as a low. Today, I view rejections as paths of not where I want to be or go. The rejection simply means my work isn’t a good fit for that publisher or producer. Nothing more, nothing less.

Likewise, if I don’t place well in a contest, that simply means that there were different stories that grabbed the judges’ attention more. It didn’t mean that my work sucked. Only that it didn’t fit what they were looking for or enjoyed reading.

Today, the lows are:

  • Needing more reviews. The few I have are GREAT! Sadly, to deal with a platform’s algorithms, I need more of them.
  • Wanting more sales. While I’m okay with not being a best-selling author yet, more sales would indicate that I’m reaching more readers, which is my ultimate goal. With so many books out there today, it’s a big ocean we authors are sailing within.
  • Needing to hire an assistant. One of the tasks of writing I prefer not to do is all of the promotional work that is required. I’d rather turn that over to a creative assistant, allowing my time to develop new stories and just write.
  • Wishing I lived closer to more writers. Lately, I’ve dreamed of owning a big Victorian house with a wrap-around porch, which I could turn into a writer’s retreat haven, a place where I could mentor and coach, and where I could other writers who are looking for an inspiration landscape in which to write. Where I could be surrounded by writers more often than not.

In the end, some of my lows aren’t really lows but are wishes, instead. Even though I’ve achieved many of my dreams, I’m still dreaming. Are you?

*****

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

Posted in #IWSG, Writer at Work | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

An introduction

Asked to write an introduction to a Facebook writer’s group recently, Not wanting to write the usual intro composed of achievement, instead, I wrote…

She steps out from the center of the crowd, several dozen individuals all clamoring for individual attention. She’s listening, waiting for that one voice to stand out. Those standing closest to her, whisper. She nods, acknowledging. They are the once-was, having passed through that thin veil of death. Some guide, some want messages passed on to those still alive. Some are waiting (for her), others are hoping to get another chance (will they return to reunite?). The others–the shouters–clamor that their story be told. It’s their turn. She listens for that one voice that will provide that missing element that will raise their story above all others, providing her with that hook, that aha element that connects the character/story tissues.

She is Diana. The eclectic mystic, intuitive, observant, learner. The writer who follows her goosebumps, knowing they are the true path toward that shiny golden Oscar. The deciders had loved her voice but the projects presented weren’t quite the fit they sought. “But, send us everything you write,” they instructed.

So close.

Then, as life does, interference jungled that path and took her to the land of depth and breadth. She emerged the wiser, with creds and authority. And now, she has returned to the land of creation, embracing the cacophony of voices all clamoring for individual attention as she chooses the next story, the unfolding adventure that mysteriously and magickly arises from the synapses mist and fog, listening to those who have gone before and point the way.

To learn more about Diana’s portfolio, awards, presentations, blogs, and more, visit her website, the center of the wheel from which all paths, like spokes of the wheel, extend.

 www.sharpenedpencilsproductions.com

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Behind the Scenes and Plans Gone Awry

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The question for this month is:  Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

Because none of my books have been made into audiobooks yet, I’m unable to answer this question.

Instead, I’m bringing you up-to-date on what I’ve been working on considering I went silent in publications for a couple years.

In the beginning, there was going to be an anthology with seven authors, each writing a separate story. The continuing thread was going to be a car that is fished out of the community’s lake in Book 1 and then appeared in every book in some way.

We had planned on the characters being friends, former sweethearts, and classmates with a few newcomers who would become involved in new relationships.

At the time, only a few of us had published a novel-length romance. An editor told us that because we were all relatively unknown, no one would publish the book. The internet was relatively new and online publishing was not yet born. Writers were dependent on agents and traditional publishers.

Moving forward two decades later, I was cleaning and culling my electronic files and came across my story contribution that had been shelved.

That’s when I had a Eureka! moment. What if *I* wrote the entire series?

Hence, the Laurel Ridge Novella series was born. I kept the car thread, made the time period 15 days for the entire series, kept a few of the careers, and created my own characters and storylines.

The stories take place 12 years after high school graduation. Shattered Dreams, a second chance at love story for high school sweethearts Mason and Shelley who broke up right after graduation, was published in 2016.

Working on the entire series before publishing the second book to ensure there weren’t any timeline snafus took longer than I had planned, plus life got in the way multiple times and in multiple heart-wrenching ways.

Also, while working on the series, I was publishing other books, too:  an anthology I edited and published through Amazon for a writer’s group as a fund-raising event, reprinting three romances, publishing a screenplay, a cookbook, and most recently the first of a series of how-to books, Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot: Discover Your Why, Your Passion, Your Purpose in Life. I began teaching again, too.

But now, I’m happy to report that Burning Desire, Book 2 in the series is available for pre-order!!! To be published May 3, 2022.

Hopefully, if all goes well, Arrested Pleasures, Book 3 will be published two months after that, with a new book in the series published every other month, taking us into 2023.

I’m crossing my fingers!

Wish me luck!

*****

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting.

Posted in #IWSG, Laurel Ridge novellas | Tagged | 13 Comments

The Struggle for a Decision

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day with a purpose to share and encourage. Writers are offered a question to answer each month or to write a block of their own.

This month’s question – Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

The Struggle for a Decision

My biggest writing conflict occurred over non-fictional material. From the start of my writing career, I wanted to help other writers.

Back then, the problem was that I was young, didn’t have any writing education other than a journalism class, and most of my publications—mostly nonfiction—appeared in magazines.

Fast forward to where I traditionally published several books, to where the internet happened and exploded with teaching opportunities, to where a local college asked me to teach writing craft classes, to where I got the education I had craved and was able to combine a career with my passion of writing, where I taught university-level composition classes.

And then, upon retirement, I became an indie publisher, finally able to work on and produce some of the many projects I had started so long ago. (And am still continuing that work!)

After a couple years, though, I found myself in conflict. I wanted to teach creative writing classes again. Or, should I just write the classes up as short how-to books?

In the end, I’m doing both. The decision was made.

I just finished teaching a Time Management for Writers class and will be teaching a master class from the same website this August based on the book I just published: Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot: Discovering Your Why, Your Passion, Your Purpose in Life. (Students will receive a free copy. Other class details TBA.)

This book is the first of my how-to series and while the books address writing issues, some of the topics apply to non-writers as well. This first book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to find and reach their life’s dream based on a passion, a fire within.

As a new release, the first book in a series that I dreamed about writing for a long time, and which is now tied to a two-week class by the same title, I couldn’t be more excited!

NEW RELEASE!!!!!

Posted in #IWSG, Writing Behind the Scenes | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

The Secret Mystery Behind Deep POV

The Secret Mystery Behind Deep POV

There have been a lot of discussion lately about Deep POV with different blogs and articles asking:

  • What is Deep POV?
  • Why should I care?
  • Why should I learn it?
  • What does it look like?

While Deep POV may appear like a new topic, it’s actually been around for a long, long time. You know the adage of what goes around comes around, right? Some say Deep POV appeared 20 years ago, others say 40; in any regard, Deep POV has come around again.

Aristotle’s three-act structure—four equal acts as the second act is two parts—was recycled into a template by Syd Fields for screenwriters.

Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey was recycled into a writer-friendly how-to/reference book by Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey.

Both Fields and Vogler’s work and their structural pieces and parts have been renamed, recycled just enough to be a tad different, and re-introduced as something new by writers turned instructors, mentors, speakers, or entrepreneurs. All of today’s programs and models can be traced back to someone else’s prior work or discovery.

Likewise, Deep POV was recycled from an earlier named element/style of writing.

Deep POV occurs when the reader experiences the main character’s actions, thoughts, and decisions up close and personal. As in their head and heart, feeling their joy and their pain.

Have you figured out what Deep POV really is yet?

As a new writer, you learned about Deep POV while attending your first writer’s conference, while reading your first how-to book regarding the craft of writing fiction, while reading about it in your first writing magazine subscription. You’ve been reading about it in blogs and articles for years, and hear its advice in any gathering of writers talking about the craft. You just knew it under a different name.

So, what does Deep POV look like?

Example #1:

He walked into the conference room, noticing all his employees were seated at the table. “This is crap,” he said angrily, throwing down mock-ups of the print ads for their newest client. “You can do better than this.” He turned and left the room, wondering if his being angry would make a difference in their performance.

Example #2:

The door thudded again the wall. All heads turned toward him as he strode into the conference room and was at the huge table in three steps. With jerky thrusts, he tossed each of the print ads for their newest client down the center of the table, each sliding the length, coming to a stop at the edge opposite him. While they had glanced at each page as it slid down the table, now their gazes were back on him, their eyes wide with fear. Good. Now to make them pee their pants. “Stop giving me this crap or heads are going to roll.”  He spun on his heels and with huge steps, strode out of the room the same way he came in. He smiled as he headed for his office. Maybe now they’d do their jobs.

Which example has your attention? Did your eyes widen while reading the second?

These two examples are the difference between using Deep POV and not using it.

To speak of Deep POV in its earlier term, this is the difference between SHOW vs. TELL

Shocked?

In the first example, we’re being told how he feels through the use of the dialogue tag, he said angrily. We watch his actions as if he’s on stage and we’re sitting in the audience.

In the second example, there is no tag. None. Surprised? Did you notice?

In the second example, we experience his actions and his feelings as they happen. We aren’t being told anything. It’s as if we’re in his head, on stage right beside him, or in his head. We’re feeling and moving as he feels and moves.

We don’t have to be told he’s angry. We can feel the anger.

Look at the books that you’re reading: Are you being told being shown? How many dialogue tags are there?

A big clue when telling occurs is the added use of adverbs (-ly words) in the dialogue tags and words like thought, felt, wondered.

I don’t know about you, but I welcome the book that I can’t put down because I’ve become that character—I’m in their head, feeling their emotions with their thoughts becoming mine. I become emotionally invested in the characters.

Versus the book I can’t get into because I’m being told how they feel, thus I’m not emotionally invested. It becomes too easy to put the book down and not finish it. Anymore, if I’m not emotionally hooked or curious within the first few pages, I can’t read it.

Showing creates page-turning books that grip you and then don’t let go.

What type of books are you reading or writing? Those with a Deep POV or those without?

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