Anchoring the point of view is one of the most important aspects of mastering point of view. This is because when the point of view is not well anchored the reader doesn’t know through which character they are experiencing the scene.
Yellow Highlighter Classes are month-long classes which meet online in a private blog space three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.) The classes are completely hands on with participants posting excerpts from their works in progress and me going over them, marking them up, offering corrections and suggestions in the same way that I mark up manuscripts I edit for publication. The feedback isn’t specific to just one area, like emotion, sexual tension or plot points. Instead, the markup offered on a single day of the class might highlight weaknesses of many types and might offer suggestions for strengthening a variety of problem areas. A single markup on a single day of the class might address a point of view problem, the need for a beat of silence to break up a line of dialogue, or the news that a given scene really slows the pace and needs to be trimmed, moved or discarded.
Pacing is difficult for a lot of authors to get just right. Even when they do get it just right (for the reader) they often still worry about it. They worry whether their pacing in a given story or scene is too fast or too slow. They worry that if they show the thoughts and feelings of the characters they will slow the pace and the story will drag. There is some legitimacy to these concerns. One can have a story in which the pace drags or a story in which things happen quickly and yet the reader isn’t really vested in the outcome.
You shouldn’t have to “remind” your reader of your character’s conflict at all. A conflict which is strong enough to support the story should be there in the character’s psyche, in his world coloring most everything he thinks, says, and does to some degree. It’s not like the character can ever really forget about the conflict. It’s there in the background weighing on him even when he’s trying to focus on other things.
The things we wrote in the book planning binder defines a character who has certain parameters. But when you put her in motion…make her take actions, and then put other people in the scene and make her react to the actions that they take you begin to learn more about her. She’s still mousy haired. She still prefers cats to people. She still doesn’t feel worthy of participating in society, of having friends. But now you move one step deeper. How does someone who prefers cats to people, who doesn’t feel worthy of participating in society, of having friends, react when she is face to face with someone who needs her help? What motivates that action? What thought? What feeling? What belief? Showing this on the page, by showing her specific mental or emotional experience allows the full essence of who she is at the deepest level to come through and be fully visible and fully understandable to the reader.