Im going to take a moment for a mini-rant today about deep POV. For those who dont know, I define Deep POV as this: when you are writing a character you are as deep into their point of view (POV) as you can get, trying to express their reactions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences (sensory or otherwise).
As a theory/idea, I love deep POV. You really get into a characters space. As a character-driven writer/reader thats fantastic! But, as with many great concepts, the writing world is taking this one to an extreme.
There is a strong swing to deep POV at least in the romance world. If you read a romance novel from ten years ago, even five years ago, if both the hero and heroine had voices in the book, there might be head hopping. In other words, the heroine would have a thought or reaction followed quickly by the hero.
Sometimes head hopping is bad because its difficult as the reader to determine which voice you are getting, which pulls you out of the story while you figure out who said/thought/experienced what. Personally, I like a tiny bit of head hopping. I want to know what BOTH characters are thinking in the same moment without having to go back in time. But with the swing to deep POV, I get my hand slapped for writing it. Only one head per scene.
That I can live with (mostly). I get the concept of staying in one head for a given scene/chapter/moment. However (and here comes the rant), it is my humble opinion that the romance novel world is taking this way, way, way too far.
From various folks in different situations (editors, beta readers, fellow authors, critiquers, discussion boards, workshops, etc.) Ive seen this concept get picked on to a ridiculous degree. Heres a couple of examples
I might write: She raised her eyebrows questioningly. (Please ignore the other issues with this sentence, and roll with it. lol)
I might get comments back like: She cant see her own face, so she cant know how she raised her eyebrows.
I might write: A frown tugged at his lips.
I might get comments like: He cant see his own lips.
Heres why these bother meAs a human being I am a self-aware individual. That feature is one aspect of what sets humanity apart from other animals. Not only do I know what my features and body are doing without having to look in a mirror to see, I also know what Im trying to express. If I raise my eyebrows, I know Im raising them. And, in 99 out of 100 cases, I know if Im raising them in surprise, as a question, with doubt, with skepticsm, etc. Therefore, deep POV is not a good reason to call a line like that into question.
Now, I get that the intended feedback more than likely means the person wants more from that linea better description, more internal reaction, etc. However, this obsession with Deep POV thats happening at the moment is turning into one of those silly humans are overdoing it again momentslike unions, or chocolate, or hit songs on the radio played over and over and over until you hate them. Everything in moderation people! Deep POV is a terrific concept and a great goal to strive for as a writer. But lets try to put some common sense around it please.