Deep POV and “Other Than” by Mia Jo Celeste #AuthorLove #Romance

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.

Other Than cover

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:

The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.

If you’d like to connect with me, visit the following places:

Amazon author page:
Facebook: Mia.Jo.Celeste

If you’d like to learn more about filter words, here are some great posts:

Book Review Club: Pride and Prejudice… and Zombies?

P&P and Zombies coverPride and Prejudice and Zombies
By Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
Published October 1st 2009 by Quirk Books

I tried to resist this book, but when the movie was on TV last fall, I recorded it. Then when my readers group decided to do Books into Films as a topic, I checked out the library e-book and read it. I have to say, I found the book to be kind of weird, mostly Jane Austen but with the zombie stuff and martial arts thrown in. I didn’t think the author did a good job of really making the zombies seem an integral part of the story, but I did kind of like the idea of Lizzy and her sisters as kick-ass martial artists and zombie killers. The class distinctions were played up by the aristocrats, like Darcy and Lady Catherine de Burgh, preferring Japanese martial arts, and looking down on the Bennett girls, who were trained by “Chinese peasants”.

In the final analysis, I enjoyed reading P&P again, and I chuckled at many of Grahame-Smith’s insertions.It’s pretty hard to improve upon Jane Austen. Impossible really.

A friend who is in graduate school told me that zombies, which are so popular nowadays, are “a metaphor for modernization or modernity, at least that is the way literary scholars are interpreting the book, where life increasing eats people up and turns them into walking dead…”

I have to say, I really didn’t get that from the book, and honestly, I don’t think that was Grahame-Smith’s reason for writing the book. I think he was looking for a high concept read that would sell lots of books and land him a movie deal, which is what happened. But color me cynical.

DVD coverAfter reading the book, I watched the film. The movie script, which actually changed Jane Austen’s plot, made more sense to me as a zombie movie. They really upped the stakes and made the zombie threat seem credible and menacing. I liked the actress who played Elizabeth, but I wasn’t as crazy about the actor who played Darcy. But then, I hold Colin Firth up as the model for the perfect Darcy, so that’s a high standard to meet. 😉

It’s very unusual of me to say a movie was better than the book it was based on, but this is one of those exceptions.

I’d love to know what others thought of the book and/or movie, so leave a comment. And click on the graphic below for more great reviews in Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club.


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@Barrie Summy