Edit Me–Deep POV–part 1 FILTER WORDS

quote mark


Today we’re talking about deep POV. For those of you who fight with POV issues, this post is for you.

POV is short for “point of view”. It means you stay in one character’s head throughout the scene or chapter. Older literature is often written in omniscient POV. Thick of Dickens. The reader knew what was going on in everyone’s head at the same time. It worked for Chuck. But modern books–especially romance–are written in one POV at a time.

Think of it as getting into a giant robot. You can see through his eyes and hear what he’s thinking. You can place your hands on his controls (sounds dirty), but you don’t know what’s going on outside of the robot’s head.


Now that you know what POV is, let’s talk about deep POV. This is where the reader forgets she’s trying to hide her Kindle under her desk when she’s supposed to be working. The reader suddenly IS the character.

The first way to do this is eliminate filter words. These words throw up a screen between reader and character. You don’t want that. Here are some filter words:








She thought of the way he touched her.

better: The way he touched her made her shiver with longing.

She felt a hole open in her chest. He was gone.

better: A hole blossomed in her chest and her heart was sucked through the vacuum into deep space. He was gone.

He smelled like soap and water and leather.

better: She dragged a breath of his soap, water, and leather scent into her nose.

He tasted her salty-sweet skin.

better: When he licked a path up her inner thigh, her salty-sweet flavor burst on his tongue.

She wondered if he liked vodka.

better: He liked vodka, right?

He remembered how much she loved roses.

better: He damn well was going to pick her roses until his fingers bled.

I think you can see how much stronger these sentences are made without those filter words. Now I’m not going to make you cry by telling you never to use them. At times these words are necessary to complete a sentence or thought. I’m suggesting that you keep them to a minimum. What happens if your manuscript is riddled with filter words? Do a search and rework the sentences.

After all, your reader deserves it.

Thanks for reading! Come back next Tuesday for part 2 of Deep POV!


2 comments on “Edit Me–Deep POV–part 1 FILTER WORDS

  1. I’ve re-read this post several times just to get in gear for writing. That might sound strange but those filter words tend to creep in when I’m least expecting it so I need a little reminder to NOT to use them like a crutch. In fact, you’ve really opened my writer’s eye. I’ve gone back through my current MS and notice places where I can make huge improvements by following your advise. Thank you for sharing, EM! *hugs* I’m excited about what you have planned for tomorrow. 🙂

  2. […] Welcome to part 2 of our lesson in Deep POV. If you missed the first part, check it out here. […]

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