A Cautionary Tale When Writing in Deep POV

I love reading books in Deep POV and so when I set out to hone my writing, I was gobbling up Deep POV advice. One of the main tenets of Deep POV is to cut out filter words like “she saw,” “she heard,” etc., because in Deep POV you’re writing AS the character, and so of course that’s who noticed, smelled and heard these things.

Well, here’s an embarrassing side effect of being too overzealous that I thought I’d share with you so that when you go through your manuscript and excise these guys you’ll not make the mistake I made.

To walk you through my mistake, here’s the sentences I had during a revision sweep this past summer:

On the verge of suggesting she arise, he saw the dratted door knob turn again

and:

While in this undesirable position on the floor, he heard a board creak in the hallway.

So, here’s me thinking “easy peasey” and I reworked these to:

On the verge of suggesting she arise, he saw the dratted door knob turned again

and:

While in this undesirable position on the floor, he heard a board creaked in the hallway.

All cool, right? Yay, I’d mastered one of the tenets of Deep POV! Woohoo!

Ah, no.

What’s wrong with those sentences? Luckily, a sharp-eyed beta reader found these for me. You see it, too. Yep, it’s a DANGLING PARTICIPLE.

Of course there’s no way the door knob had become sentient and was about to ask the heroine to arise, or that a board was in an awkward position. When my beta reader first pointed them out to me, I stared at them going “how in the world did I even construct these sentences? I know better!” and then it hit me: I’d just taken out the filter words and called it a day.

So I thought I’d share this with you so that you can wield Deep POV principles more wisely than I.

Have you ever used a new writing technique willy nilly and only later realized the consequences? Have you ever accidentally constructed some really funny dangling participles?

Milestone: This was my 100th post!