Today I want to share with you a video that a friend shared with me. This video does a great job of exemplifying point of view.
As you probably know, point of view refers to who is experiencing and relating a story. There are other aspects that contribute to point of view as well. These include how the entity telling the story refers to himself or herself—which determines whether you are writing in first or third person point of view and the vantage point which determines how deep your point of view is. Point of view can be very deep if the point of view character is telling the story from a vantage point inside himself or herself. Point of view can be less deep…venturing all the way into omniscient point of view when the viewpoint character moves far outside of the character.
So…quite simply…point of view relates to who is telling the story, what vantage point they are using to tell the story, and how they refer to themselves.
Material is said to be written in deep point of view when the narrator is telling the story from inside one of the characters. Deep point of view is favored for romance as the vantage point inside the character allows the narrator to directly describe the thoughts and feelings the viewpoint character has as he or she has them. Deep point of view tends to make the reader feel close to the character rather than distant from the character as omniscient point of view tends to do.
The video is a great example of material written in deep point of view.
Though the video is a hoot, I’m not sharing it with you just because it is funny. I’m sharing it with you because it is a good example of material written in deep point of view.
Though there are cute pictures of kitties on the video, the kitty speaking would not be able to see. That said, all of the words of the cat’s diary are from the cat’s point of view…and not just point of view but deep point of view.
The cat doesn’t just experience that the black pants have been removed from the couch by the authorities…he reacts to that through his own mental/emotional filter assigning meaning to it.
The cat doesn’t just experience that his food dish is only half full…he reacts to that through his own mental and emotional filter, and again assigns meaning, importance, and emotion to it.
The cat doesn’t just complain that the authorities refused to hold the door open long enough for him to decide whether to go in or out he processed that experience through his own unique mental/emotional filter.
There are many more examples of the world through a cat’s point of view in this short video clip.
The thing that I would like to draw your attention to here is the way that the point of view filters the experience. In the video you get the cat’s internal/mental/emotional experience of the events in a cat’s life. You don’t see what the humans in his life think about the events. EVERYTHING is processed through the cat’s point of view. That is what we’re aiming for in our writing.
When we write in deep point of view, we want to process everything that happens through the viewpoint of our viewpoint character.
This post was adapted from a lesson from my Deep Point of View Workshop. Be sure to check out the Deep Point of View Workshop coming up November 2015.