P is for Pathos and Deep POV | #AtoZChallenge


Pathos stirs up emotions of pity, sympathy, and sorrow that can be expressed in a work through words, pictures, or body gestures. (Source: Pathos, Literary Devices, literarydevices.net.)

Pathos “is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response.”

Ethos “is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader.”

Logos “is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason.”

(Source: Examples of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos, Your Dictionary, examples.yourdictionary.com)

View these examples of each.

Examples of pathos in literature

GIF by giphy.com

Function of Pathos

Humans are emotional beings, and emotions are part of real life. When writers touch upon emotions of pity, sympathy, and sorrow, they develop a connection with readers. Pathos expression helps writers bring their narratives, characters, and themes closer to real life, thus closer to readers. (Source: Pathos, Literary Devices, literarydevices.net.)

Pathos and POV are linked in that the job of narrators and characters is to stir up emotion and build sympathy.

Deep POV

POV in writers’ lingo stands for point of view. Read more here.

Kristen Lamb defines “Deep POV” as

Deep POV is simply a technique that strips the author voice completely out of the prose. There is no author intrusion so we are left only with the characters. The reader is nice and snuggly in the “head” of the character.

In her article, Kristen Lamb instructs writers to “ditch the tags” (he said)–instead, just write the action–and lose thought and sense words (felt, knew, saw, thought). For example,

She thought, He is going to kill me.

We don’t need “She thought”:

He is going to kill me.

The thought is written in italics if you’re not writing in first person. The fact that “she thought” it is obvious. Leaving out such words tightens writing, prevents author intrusion, and makes the reader feel closer to the story, even inside it.

For more background, please read Kristen Lamb’s article DEEP POV–What is It? Why Do Readers LOVE It?. She discusses trends in writing and how they have changed, defines Deep POV, and provides useful examples. Kristen is an author, freelance editor, and speaker. She has years of sales and promotion experience.

See also: Indirect Discourse in Third-Person POV

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

Q is for Quite the Quest

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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9 Responses to P is for Pathos and Deep POV | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  2. Pingback: Indirect Discourse in Third-Person Limited POV | Beyond the Precipice

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Interesting, hadn’t heard of Deep POV before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting about Deep POV — will check out Lamb’s article. I use attributive tags as much for pacing as for anything else. P.S. When I made my list of P words, I didn’t think of “pathos.” Or “post” either!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca Douglass says:

    Good post, and good theme. I’ll have to come root around in it to see what I can learn.
    I write a lot in first person, so sinking my voice completely into the character is something I’m always working on. And when I think I’ve done it, my family comments on how much the MC sounds like me. One of these days I’ll write a character utterly unlike me (for more than a flash fiction), and see if I can shock them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to know about Deep POV. “Ditch the tags”, have been doing that lately.

    Logos, Logics, seems interesting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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