Mia Jo Celeste is here today to share her thoughts on deep Point of View, plus and excerpt from her gaslamp fantasy, Other Than, for our #AuthorLove exchange. I love your cover, Mia Jo.
A Quick Trick to Deepen Your Character’s Point of View
and a Look at Other Than
by Mia Celeste
Like most readers, I find characters compelling. I’m drawn to books where I’m in the character’s head—which might be a rough description of deep point of view (POV). As a writer, I try to deepen POV in my stories. Here’s one quick way.
Search for filter words in your draft. Filter words are words like: see, hear, think, wonder, know, believe, smell and appear.
Here’s an example: Daphne wondered if the fiend had seen her.
Filter words like wondered remind the reader that a narrator is telling the story. They take the reader out of the character’s head, so the trick is find these words and rewrite the sentence they’re in. We’ll start with our example.
Daphne crouched behind the broken pew. She wondered if the fiend had seen her.
Daphne crouched behind the broken pew. Her breathing loud in her ears, she peeked out. Had the fiend seen her?
The fiend rifled through the paint tarps covering the altar. Daphne crouched behind the broken pew. Waiting. Waiting. Her chest tight.
I think you’ll agree. The point of view is more compelling without she wondered. You can replace a filter word with a feeling, a perception or a thought your main character has about her present situation.
When I wrote Other Than, a Gaslamp Fantasy/ Paranormal Historical Romance, I tried to limit the filter words, so readers could experience events with Evangeline Woods, the main character.
Adrenaline fueling her speed, she attempted to outrace the flickering destruction climbing the stairs along her heels and succeeded. Amazingly succeeded. Apparently, the fire was slowing, as though sated and content to toy with the kitchen.
Perhaps Sesha and Jessup had convinced their Almighty to aid her even after she’d reneged on her promise. She owed them—she’d save the cure in their memory. She sped into the ruined conservatory and got to the table, but the rack was empty. No vials. And the top of Jessup’s desk was clear. His journals and notes were gone.
On the floor, splattered blood led to and from the threshold. She followed it to the phoenix room and sensed Victor beyond the door.
He was alive. She’d found him.
For a moment, she gave in to giddy relief. Then, she turned the knob and entered.
Victor was before her. Surrounded by smoke, but before her.
His hair singed, the right side of his face blistered from heat, the left a deadly pallid, he slumped on the red-quilted bed and mopped at a red gushing hole in his abdomen with his torn off shirt. Seeing her, he straightened. Hope gleamed in his eyes. “You came. I called and you came.”
“You called?” She wanted to lift and twirl him in the air like he did her. Silly maybe. She was as dazed as the phoenix in the wall paper.
Real flames gnawed the hand-painted vines. “Why? Why are you here?”
“You don’t give me much credit.” His eager grin flattened. “Where is that trust, you’re working on?”
She wrung her hands. Their future depended on his next words. “You came because of the Maiden, didn’t you?”
“Damn right. I shan’t spend the rest of my life with her egregious murmurs in my mind nor can I allow her to inflict her will on others.”
She searched his eyes, and then his skin, those small tells, the nuisances of expression that hid deception. They weren’t there. He was earnest. He hadn’t intended to use the statue but destroy it. She swallowed to clear the lump in her throat.
“What did you think?” He waved a bloody hand as if warding off a blow. “No, don’t say.”
Blood. She jerked straight. Hoff had shot him. Here she was fretting over their future while he bled.
“Mayhap, I don’t deserve credit.” Victor’s lips twitched into a sardonic smile.
Always so good at wheedling out her feelings, he’d likely read her concern over his wound. Her vision blurred in the heated air.
“I know I’ve done unspeakable things. Things that need now to be set right. I began last night with you and our relationship. I thought I’d succeeded, but no.”
“You did. You have. It’s me who’s at fault currently. I doubted you, but I don’t now. It’s your health that alarms me. You, I’m sure of. Very sure.” She blinked hard and focused on the goal—Victor.
If you’d like to check out more of Other Than, you can find it at these links:
If you’d like to connect with me, visit the following places:
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/miaceleste
Facebook: fb.me/ Mia.Jo.Celeste
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01N9JGDVI
If you’d like to learn more about filter words, here are some great posts: