Self-edit Your Novel (Part 1D)

In this multi-post series, you’ll discover techniques and technology to help you self-edit your novel. Use Scrivener’s Custom Metadata to apply Deep POV techniques.

Alfred Hitchcock said, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” The self-edit process leaves in the dramatic elements and removes the rest, enhancing the reading experience by connecting readers to the protagonist.

The dull bits include:

  • Author intrusions that spoil the scene by telling rather than showing how the story unfolds from a character’s point of view.
  • Revealing information the point-of-view character could not know.
  • Unnecessary backstory that clutters the scene.
  • The writer’s interjection of an opinion.
  • Overused techniques, such as flashbacks.
  • Excessive descriptions of research, characters, and settings.

Structure (Part 1D): Deep POV

To give readers a deeper experience, consider using Third-Person Limited, which is when an author sticks closely to one character but remains in third person. This style puts readers inside a character’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations, deepening the experience.

For authors writing in Third-Person Limited, a deep point-of-view edit explores several questions. For example:

  • Has the scene unfolded organically from the point-of-view character’s perspective?
  • Are there any author intrusions and opinions?
  • Does the scene connect readers to the character’s thoughts, emotions, and senses?
  • Are readers immersed in the character’s actions, sufferings, victories, and defeats?
Deepening Reader Connections
Click to Enlarge


To achieve Deep POV, use Scrivener’s Custom Metadata to:

  • Make clear the point-of-view character at the outset of each scene.
  • Limit the point of view to one character’s thoughts and internal reactions for each scene.
  • Use the POV character’s senses and body language to show feelings and reactions.
  • Have the POV character reference self and other characters using realistic language.
  • Likewise, limit perceptions and descriptions of self and supporting cast to POV character’s five senses.

For more information on Custom Metadata, see that section on the Story Structure page.

%d bloggers like this: