Story Success Clinic with Hugh Tipping on Deep Point of View
In this episode creativity coach and podcast host, Beth Barany talks to actor and fantasy writer Hugh Tipping in this Story Success Clinic Session where they discuss the Deep Point of View.
Beth Barany is an Award-winning Novelist, master neurolinguistic programming practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers, including being a Workshop Leader & Keynote Speaker. Beth has published books in several genres including young adult fantasy, paranormal romance and science fiction.
Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites:
Science fiction and fantasy writers, sign up for your Story Success Clinic here:
Resources on Deep Point of View: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2019/10/27/resources-on-point-of-view-pov/
The Fifth Element: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/
Course on crafting point of view in your fiction: Mastering Deep Point of View with Alice Gaines, What if you could master a simple technique to make your stories more immediately felt by your readers?
Get support for your fiction writing by a novelist and writing teacher and coach. Schedule an exploratory call here and see if Beth can support you today: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/discovery-call/
“It’s not just getting into a deep point of view. It’s also making sure each point of view is distinct and has its own strong perspective.”
In this Story Success Clinic interview, creativity coach and science fiction and fantasy novelist Beth Barany talks to actor and fiction writer Hugh Tipping where they discuss how to write different points of view (POV) in your novels.
About Hugh Tipping
Hugh Tipping is the author of the upcoming fantasy novel The Threads of Magic. Through his creative efforts, he inspires others to explore their own bravery and discover the rewards of stepping into a courageous life. Connect with Hugh here: https://linktr.ee/htipping.
ABOUT THE HOW TO WRITE THE FUTURE PODCAST
The How To Write The Future podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers.
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TRANSCRIPT for 17. Story Success Clinic with Hugh Tipping, Fantasy Novelist, on Deep Point of View
Hey science fiction and fantasy authors, would you like to get more exposure for your books, and get some support to uncover story ideas, enhance story cohesion, and get some ideas for marketing?
Then sign up for my 30 minute Story Success Clinic.
Every 30-minute story success clinic is recorded and gets aired as an episode of the How To Write The Future podcast.
So sign up today. The link is in the show notes. And now let’s get on with the show.
Welcome to How to Write the Future Podcast
BETH BARANY 00:45
Hi everyone. Welcome to How to Write the Future Podcast. I’m Beth Barany, your host. This podcast offers fiction writing tips for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to create optimistic stories because when we vision what is possible, we help make it so.
Today I’m very excited to have with me Hugh Tipping for our Story Success Clinic.
Hugh, why don’t you introduce yourself and then we’ll, we’ll dive right in.
HUGH TIPPING, FANTASY NOVELIST
HUGH TIPPING 01:19
Yeah, excellent, good to be here, Beth. My name is Hugh, and I’m currently in the process of extensive editing of my very first novel which is an epic fantasy novel. It’s, it’s grown quite large as I’ve been working on it, well over 158,000 words, but I’ve been enjoying the process of refining it.
And, sculpting it into something a little bit, more compact.
BETH BARANY 01:44
Yeah. Great, great. And full, full disclosure, everyone, Hugh is one of my clients and we have the pleasure of working together and diving deep into his manuscript. So I’m, I’m excited today to talk with you about a naughty problem that you wanted to bring to us, which is really getting into deep point of view, staying in deep point of view, all the things about deep point of view.
Is that, is that right?
HUGH TIPPING 02:11
Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, that’s, that’s been one of my bigger challenge in really refining this novel.
BETH BARANY 02:17
Great. Tell me a little bit about what’s challenging about getting into point of view for your main character.
HUGH TIPPING 02:25
Yeah, the deep point of view, was actually, let me start with, with why I decided to go with deep point of view in the first place, because, the way I’ve written in the past when I’ve written some short stories or was, you know, tried with a novel a number of years ago, I did a lot of head jumping and I had sort of an omniscient point of view and I, and I found that when I would go back and I would read what I had written.
I, I found that it was just lacking for me, a lot of depth. I felt like I needed more, I, I needed more feeling. I needed more layers to my characters. And, when you and I started working on, um, you know, figuring out how to do deep point of view from my characters, I found that I, I got a lot more, a lot more emotion, a lot more feeling, a lot more, a lot more realism to it.
And, and, that has brought its own challenges because when you were you going deep into someone’s psyche, deep in inside their mind and, and what it is they’re feeling, how they’re reacting, it, it’s definitely evocative of one’s own emotions. , it can be a little tiring for sure, but it’s also you, you wanna make sure that you are being true to the character as you’re trying to build them.
BETH BARANY 03:44
HUGH TIPPING 03:46
And frequently as those emotions are evoked within me, I find myself putting a little too much of myself into the character. Certainly all of my characters in the novel have bits and pieces of my own personality, but I wanna, I wanna make sure that I’m, I’m staying true to the creative process of creating something new and something different, but that’s also very real to me.
So, it takes definitely a lot of, lot of stamina, endurance to stay there, and, and also because I’m doing things deep pov for several of my characters from scene to scene or chapter to chapter, I find myself having to really adjust, making sure that I don’t have any kind of attention residue left over from the previous character that I was working on.
BETH BARANY 04:31
Ah, So it’s not just getting into deep point of view. It’s alsomaking sure each point of view is distinct and has its own strong, um, perspective. And, and they don’t sound too similar, like some some writers will say, Oh, my characters sound too similar, one to the other, and there’s not enough distinction.
Would you say that’s another challenge or that’s part of this deep point of view challenge?
HUGH TIPPING 04:58
Indeed it is. Indeed it is. Because when you’re, when you’re going through someone’s inner thoughts, each person has their own, their own past, their own history, and, and those, those inner thoughts are gonna be different. The person is gonna construct their thoughts differently. So it’s, it’s making sure that they don’t all have the same thoughts.
BETH BARANY 05:19
That’s right. They don’t all sound the same, they aren’t clones of each other. Right. Great. And so the first challenge it sounds like is also just the emotional work that goes into expressing the point of view, especially for the main character who, you were saying, has a lot of similarities to you.
Yeah, and would you say that the challenge there is also like, how do you draw up a character that, originally starts out as very much like an extension of self, but then you’re like, Oh, I want to make this character different, how do I do that? I’m wondering if it’s like, how do I not be so drained emotionally by the work of creating this character and, and writing him and, you know, cuz I know you’re in the editing phase, you know, bringing out the edits, polishing, editing, cutting, revising, rewriting all the things.
HUGH TIPPING 06:10
All of it.
And then some.
BETH BARANY 06:13
And then some., yeah. Yeah. Cool. So, um, so I’m gonna offer some um, suggestions and you can tell me how they land and also those listening in podcast land, you can try these on for size and see if they work for you. , this is all a big experiment. , being an artist is about experimenting, in my opinion.
So you and I know in the past have talked about creating, anchors like, having a physical thing that represents either the writing space, but in this case, I’m wondering if there’s a physical object or a picture that might represent the character that allows you to definitely distinguish it as other, right?
It it exists here outside of you as a, as an image or as an object or, or, , you know, I’m just spitballing here, but, you know, um, a symbol even. And because you’re writing fantasy and there’s magic, you know, is there even a magic symbol? Ooh, I just thought of that. That could represent your main character as very unique to that person, which then invites the idea like, Ooh. Then each character could have its own visual– symbol, picture or symbol that, or color, something that helps you differentiate them very, very clearly. How does that land for you?
HUGH TIPPING 07:31
Yeah, I, I like that idea, I’m, I’m a person who, who’s very, very visual, cuz when I, when I first started describing the appearance of my characters, I, I sort of had an image in my head, but then I went on the Internet, look for images that kind of look like them, however, to think about. Besides what they look like, stuff that they have, I kind of like that idea.
If I could either have a, a picture of something or draw something or print it out and have it right there in front of me as I’m having the character think or react, that actually, yeah, I’d like that idea that could really add, um, some more depth because it, it connects me to what the character is connected.
BETH BARANY 08:16
Yes. Yes. And, and by extension, is there an element about that character? In a lot of character sketches, we in suggest you pick an adjective for your character, and in our training we also suggest you pick a verb. And what I do when I’m especially in the refining stage is I pick some kind of music or musicality because that helps me make word choice decisions and rhythm decisions.
You know, one of my previous works, Henrietta, the Dragon Slayer, you know, I always had Henrietta speak in a certain style, very Anglo-Saxon languages, very punctuated, very active. And then I would have, Franc speak in like very short sentences, and then I would have Jaxter, another character, speak in, in this kind of melodic sing songy.
He was a storyteller. And then I had the fourth character in the story, Paulette. She was very self-centered, so everything she said was very much centered on me, me, me, I, I, I, you know. And, and that’s how I filtered their language choices also in the rhythms and things like that. If you notice in this example, I just picked very few, just one very short descriptor that helped me make these decisions and helped me connect.
It was like a, a form of shorthand that I used in the in the revising phase. So I’m wondering if, if that would be helpful to you for your main character and, and your other point of view characters.
HUGH TIPPING 09:43
I think that would be, um, even, even what you were saying with how the different characters speak. Um, because my main character is an academic, he’s always been an academic. He’s very, very well read. And, and, you know, he would speak in, in a full grammatically correct sentences. Whereas, another, one of the main characters who’s mercenary and she’s had to fight for survival much of her life. She’s not gonna speak that way.
She’s gonna be a lot more to the point and, and much more efficient. And there we go. There’s, there’s an adjective right there, efficient what she does that could inform, , what’s going on inside of her head. Yeah.
Yeah. I like
Yeah. Even just talking it out here, words are sort of popping up into my head.
BETH BARANY 10:28
That’s great. And you said something for your main character, which is he’s academic and so I thought of wordy. Someone else might think he’s wordy. He though might think he’s, what?
HUGH TIPPING 10:41
Yeah, he, he’s definitely wordy, but he might think that he is, um, explaining, teaching, helping that he’s, he’s being giving of, of his knowledge
BETH BARANY 10:55
HUGH TIPPING 10:56
or else someone else would prefer him to, summarize more often.
BETH BARANY 11:00
Yeah. I get to the point, so the word you used that jumped out at me was explaining. It’s almost like his character, his modus operandi on a certain level. Like he could tell us the origin of every word and the origin of every spell and the origin of, and the history of the regions and, you know, would that be fair? Like just in a kind of a neutral descriptor of him?
HUGH TIPPING 11:27
I, I think so. I think so. And, and I think even in, even before he speaks what’s going on in his head before he speaks is, him trying to relate, a current situation or a challenge to what he’s learned to something he learned in history, maybe, or, one of his magic classes. Um, so he, he, he has to, he has to put some sort of grounding maybe under, under a situation he’s dealing with.
BETH BARANY 11:57
I like that. And so now you’ve really explained his inner life and the way he speaks. And then it’s gonna color the way he’s gonna describe his setting because he might do kind of what we might call run on sentences or longer sentences, you know, such and such, comma, which dah, dah dah. And, you know, he might have several dependent clauses on top of the main clause because he’s explaining to himself what he’s seeing.
And then, the mercenary, because she’s, um, what did you say, efficient. So when she scans her environment, how, you know, she’s gonna use an efficient way of thinking about her surroundings. And also because she’s, she’s a hunter, she’s gonna see her surroundings completely differently than your academic.
HUGH TIPPING 12:49
Yeah, she’s, she’s definitely going to look at the world in survival mode. She’s gonna look for dangers. She’s going to look for resources that she can use, food, whereas, whereas the main character, the mage might look at a tree and say, Oh, look at those nice colors. And the leaves are turning to, you know, a week early this fall. The mercenary is not gonna think about that. She’s gonna think, Uh oh, damn. Uh, the leaves are about to fall. I’m gonna lose some cover of this forest.
BETH BARANY 13:19
What a wonderful example. I love that. Yeah. And so even with that one example and, and you actually kind of call forth like, this is a great exercise, right? How would your other point of view characters, cuz you have some other ones, you could do the same exercise. What’s a good adjective for them?
And how does that, um, color the way they see the tree? You know, and you could use the same example for all of them and then write a little, uh, cheat sheet for yourself and with your symbols or images and have that, um, right there. You know, when you work right next to your computer or in your computer, call it up.
HUGH TIPPING 13:57
Yeah, I, I like that idea of finding, finding words each, the characters. Now, I’m just sort of running down the list of characters, thinking of what words I would have for them, how people would notice things they wouldn’t, people would be dismissive.
BETH BARANY 14:08
HUGH TIPPING 14:09
Things, others might be obsessed with them.
BETH BARANY 14:12
Right, right. Oh, excellent. I’m so, so glad. Um, and then as we consider that, Is there anything else about point of view that would help you? We kind of covered like how do you distinguish them one from the other also by having an object or an image that might allow you to kind of really separate yourself better, especially from the main character. Um, is there any other aspects about point of view that are coming up, bubbling up that we can address in our time here remaining?
HUGH TIPPING 14:41
Just going back to what we were saying earlier about putting oneself into one’s character, um, and, and frequently in situations, I, I think what would I do in that situation? And maybe it’s time for me to say, What wouldn’t I do? What’s the opposite of what I might do to help, to help change it up a little bit, which is hard because you’re used to doing things a certain way in your life and you’re not used to doing the opposite of it. So that would help make the character different than me.
BETH BARANY 15:10
HUGH TIPPING 15:11
But, what wouldn’t I do? What’s the opposite of what I would do? And that’s tough.
BETH BARANY 15:16
That is tough.
And so I guess the first thought that comes to mind about that is who is an avatar for that? Who represents that opposite behavior? Who out in the world or in another story, or someone might, maybe that you know, who would categorically choose something else or the opposite?
HUGH TIPPING 15:37
Yeah. Okay. So what you’re saying is, is look for someone else that might represent this, this antithesis of what I, I might do in a situation. Yeah,
BETH BARANY 15:46
Yeah. And are you thinking of bringing that in for your main character and having him be the one who makes some of those choices? Or is this for a different character?
HUGH TIPPING 15:56
Definitely for the main character for sure. And, and it might be for others as well. Uh, um, I’m still focusing mainly on, on the main character right now for a lot of this work, but there are secondary characters who are just as important that, that need this same treatment.
BETH BARANY 16:11
Yeah. And, it’s interesting to notice also what inspires you out in the world in terms of other people’s stories. And, and you wanna bring those kind of traits in. Is there any kind of other character from TV, film or books where you’re like, Oh, I like that trait. I wanna give it to my main character.
HUGH TIPPING 16:33
Well, I, I’m thinking of some characters from, I’ve, I’ve read a lot of Ursula Le Guin novels. I was a big fan of the Earth Sea Series, and there’s, the main character there definitely, doesn’t share a whole lot with my main character, but he’s also a age and he has his own struggles and he’s made his mistakes. So perhaps I should look at some of his flaws and some of the mistakes that he’s made, and apply that to my main charact.
BETH BARANY 17:00
That’s great. This total random example, but when I was working on, my YA Fantasy series, I was thinking a lot about Fifth Element, the movie, The Fifth Element, and
Yeah, I love that movie so much. And I was thinking somehow there’s things about, there’s certain scenes and certain moments and certain choices that were really inspiring me in, in that work, to bring them into my fantasy.
Oh, that’s just one of my favorites.
HUGH TIPPING 17:25
Well, I think that’s a good example because The Fifth Element has such a wide diversity of characters and personality traits and quirks. I think that’s what makes the movie so attractive. You don’t have a lot of same people. You have everybody who looks a little different and they’re bringing their own weirdness to the table.
BETH BARANY 17:46
Mm-hmm.. Yeah. And they’re all have their separate and competing agendas. Yeah.
HUGH TIPPING 17:51
Yeah. It’s the agendas and their motivations that are definitely , part of it,
BETH BARANY 17:56
That’s great. Well, as we, wrap up, what do you see yourself doing with the information that we worked on today?
HUGH TIPPING 18:06
Well, I’m definitely going to be thinking of words for characters. I mean, that’s the very first thing I think I’m going to do. And the next thing I’m going to do is, is look at either people in my life or characters in other stories. , they don’t necessarily even have to be fantasy stories. Maybe I saw this criminal on Law And Order who has some weird personality traits I found interesting that I could bring into this story for one of the antagonists.
BETH BARANY 18:33
HUGH TIPPING 18:33
So I think what I’m gonna do is, is observe right now. See what, see what I can pull in just from, from my day to day life and watching a movie or reading a book.
BETH BARANY 18:44
Perfect. That’s great. You’ve got two really solid steps there.
HUGH TIPPING 18:47
I think so.
BETH BARANY 18:48
And one last question that I, didn’t put in our prep necessarily, but I wanna start integrating, actually I have two questions then. One is, where do you, where do you see yourself six months from now with your book? Where, where would you like to be? What’s your ideal if you could, wave a magic wand?
HUGH TIPPING 19:07
Wow. That’s a good question. I’ve been working on a lot of world building these days, so I, I definitely wanna have my world looking a lot more solid, and rules of my, my fictional, environment a little bit more solid, and I can draw upon them as I’m going through the story. But even just what we were talking about tonight with, with Deep POV, I want to look at these characters, especially in those first few chapters.
I want those characters to have more layers to them. I want to go back and read and see the switch from this character to that character to a third one, and see it as being more distinct that, there’s a different, there’s a different feel or a different moot when I switch to a different character’s pov.
And, if I’m reading something, especially if I’m reading it aloud, which is the best way to, to check your own edits. If it sounds and feels like that switch in mood then I know I’m on the right track. So in six months, I really hope I’m, I’m getting there.
BETH BARANY 20:08
That’s great. And I love that we brought up, Fifth Element for you to even remind yourself of like, Ooh, how, how much you notice that and how much you want that.
HUGH TIPPING 20:18
I’m gonna go watch that movie again.
BETH BARANY 20:20
HUGH TIPPING 20:20
for sure. Uh, then yeah, figure, figure out, out, you know, what it is that’s really working about that movie.
BETH BARANY 20:27
That’s wonderful. So my final question for you before I have you , share with the audience about how they can find you is, , it’s about the future since this is, called How to Write the Future, in what way do you feel your story and your lends to a new vision or new version of, of our future and the future of the readers?
HUGH TIPPING 20:50
Oh, wow. a, that’s a tough one.
BETH BARANY 20:53
It’s not to put you on the spot or anything,
Not at all, I, I mean, my, my novel takes, takes place in, in a medieval environment that would be very much like our world’s past, but I, I would like it to teach lessons for the future. I, I think stories, can teach us by example, how to improve, how to get better, what the future can be like, even if the technology is not there, or, the social advancement isn’t there. Even seeing where it’s not there can be informative for the future, saying this is, is this the way we wanna be?
BETH BARANY 21:39
HUGH TIPPING 21:40
How do we prevent ourselves from being like that or returning to that at some point?
BETH BARAN Y21:46
Fun. Really fun. Great. Hugh, this has been really fun, I would love to for people to find out, here how they can connect with you. So is there a social media channel or a website, that you can direct people to?
HUGH TIPPING 22:02
Yeah. I I have a page on, , link tree. It’s uh, link tr.ee/h tipping, and that links to other social media stuff.
BETH BARANY 22:13
Fabulous. And we’ll make sure that’s in the show notes, so great. Thank you so much you for being with us at How to Write the Future, and I wish you all the best with your fabulous fantasy novel.
HUGH TIPPING 22:23
Thanks so much, Beth. It was, it was a lot of fun being on on the podcast with you today.
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ABOUT BETH BARANY
Beth Barany is an award-winning novelist, certified creativity coach for writers, and a workshop facilitator. In addition to her how-to books for writers, Beth has published books in several genres including young adult fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mystery. Contact Beth: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/podcast/#contact
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2022 BETH BARANY
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