Here is an excellent resource on writing point of view, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View. I would highly recommend it to any and all writers. Point of View is one of those areas that a writer can really stumble–badly.
From a reader’s perspective, it’s doubtful that anyone ever notices how an author chose which head to speak from. It’s a critical decision though and can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of the story. Once chosen, some writers make the mistake of not digging deep enough or gritty enough to draw the reader into the action.
If the point of view doesn’t delve deeply into a scene so that you, the reader, believes and feels the action personally–it’s not working. A person should not feel that they are standing on the sidelines watching the story unfold–but rather that they are the person it is happening to. To check if you’ve missed the depth needed, just look for words like felt, saw, watched, looked, noticed, etc. These are “bench” words. I say bench because as an ex-athlete they fit what happens when you’re not in the game, just watching. If you’re in the game, the tension and excitement is a part of you and happening. If you’re on the sidelines, you see it, watch it, etc.
Felt or feeling are also words that lack intensity. Avoid them at all costs. Your character shouldn’t feel disappointed, that’s boring. Rather, show the actions that portray that feeling.
Jerrick read the email from his boss twice, then shoved his chair back and tossed his pen on the desk. Why bother spending so much time on a murder investigation that had already been botched?
Lastly, here’s a weekend challenge for you. Give me a deep POV way of saying the following:
Abby felt she was just a passenger in life, watching it go by while others lived it.
Here’s a link to the book if you’d like to get a copy: