Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A guest blog from last May

Improve Your Point of View by Going Deep

   Saturday Guest Post contributed by Author April Grey – Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mastery of point of view (POV) is important to all writing; however, I feel that some genres need to have the POV reach deeper under the skin than others. Both horror and romance appeal to the emotions (note how these genres are named after emotions-AHA) and require readers to get lost in the feelings of terror or love generated by the story. 

In comparison, science fiction and mysteries might be seen as more appealing to the mind. A distant POV where the reader is trailing behind the character like a steady-cam or drone can be effective. It has a chilling quality. The reader is kept outside the body of the main character.  He/She is held at arm’s length, is distanced. And in any writing a combination of POV depths is highly recommended.

Still, for romance and horror you want to dive down deep into the character. Readers need to feel, taste, smell, hear and see what is happening to the character in order to experience it for themselves.

Here are two quick tips to help you wiggle under that character’s skin. To be sure there are many more techniques, whole books have been written on POV, but I’m keeping this short .
  1. Use all five of the senses. Too often we are told about the world through sight and sound. By using the sense of smell, taste and touch, it’s like being on the holodeck of the Enterprise. This comes back to the (in)famous, “show don’t tell” writers are told. Chekov (Anton—not Pavel) said it best: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Even better, don’t rely on sight alone, let your character feel that glass crunch under his feet maybe have a shard pierce the sole of your character’s shoe. Make you want to cringe, doesn’t it?
  2. Remove the filters in your writing. Much of this technique is a matter of deleting tags. Once you are firmly established in a character’s viewpoint throwing in: he could see, he saw, he could feel, he felt, he thought, he wondered, etc. becomes unnecessary and only serve to remind your reader that he’s reading. These unnecessary verbs, which do have a habit of creeping in, takes the reader away from the deep viewpoint you want.
"He could see the sun rise." vs. "The sun rose."

Also, removing the filters streamlines your writing, making it lean and mean. Any direct thought can be expressed in italics.
"He thought she was really hot." vs. "She’s so hot.”

As mentioned above, there may be times in your writing when you do want to draw back. Finding the right balance is a matter of practice but also paying attention to other writers and seeing how they create their own effects. Most of all, as a writer, you need to experience what the character is feeling. Your heart needs to pound and your mouth needs to go dry. Gosh, isn’t it amazing that fear can create the same symptoms as love? But you don’t want your reader to be inundated with non-stop throbbing pulses and surges of adrenaline. Find the right balance between these scenes of intense excitement and pulling back. There’s a rhythm to be found in any work.

Summing up, though you want to remove the filters (tags) you still need to filter everything through your POV character. Your female lead may notice different things than a male one, keep  in mind how different characters perceive the world differently. This is the filter which you need.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Christmas in July

Summer Promo

Go here for free and discounted dark fiction by or edited by April

For Free: The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe, St. Nick's Favor & The Vision
For 99 cents: Hell's Garden and I'll Love You Forever.

 Go here for discounted and free April Grey fiction

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Interview up at Horror Digest

An Interview with Short Story Author April Grey

April Grey
Author April Grey
April Grey’s short stories have been published in such anthologies asDemonmind's Halloween 2010The Best of Everyday Fiction 2, Northern HauntsEphemeraHaunted: Ten Tales of GhostsBites: Ten Tales of VampiresUndead: Ten Tales of Zombies, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyanceand Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry. Many of these stories can be found in her collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe.
She is also the author of the urban fantasy novels Chasing the Tricksterand St. Nick’s Favour.

For the rest of the interview:
An Interview with Short Story Author April Grey http://t.co/pVHZIDeQXb

Thursday, May 29, 2014

At New York Book Expo Today, Friday and Saturday!

Horror Writers Association

View Booth on Floor Plan: 2558

I am so excited to be attending the BEA through the HWA. I'll be helping to man our booth 2558 from 9-11am and from 1pm to 3pm today (Thurs.); From 10-12pm and 2-4pm on Friday and 9-10 am on Sat.

Also, on Saturday I will be giving away signed copies of "I'll Love You Forever" from 2-3 pm along with some swag kindly donated by my publisher Eternal Press.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May looks to be busy!

I'll be at the NY Book Expo at the end of this month:

I'll be at the Horror Writer's booth all three days and I will be signing free copies of I'll Love You Forever on Saturday May 31st.

#1 Book & Author Event in the U.S.

Thursday, May 29 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Javits Center, NYC

And how wonderful-- A review!

A collection of short and medium sized stories ranging from hysterical to yucky, but all quite brilliant.

Like little brain farts of horror AG throws weirdness after bonkers at you in this collection; from decaying mothers to super heroes to mad scientists she has not left a stereo type out.

Some have random gore in them but most are just very quirky with an underlying hilarity.

“Russell Stover is your friend” I think was my favourite of the little shorts as it was only a few paragraphs long but it really stayed with me for quite a while.

The second part of the book is all longer stories.

Exile is a brilliant reminder that all life is precious.

Objects of Desire veers off at such a sharp direction I literally laughed and snorted on the plane (I was travelling to the WHC when I read this book). Not so much a plot twist as a full somersault. 

At the end of the Day was such a sad vampire tale with a cruel ending that is was totally absorbing.

Hell is Lonely Without You was a strong tale of revenge that came with a big dose of morality and really made me wonder where the roots of this story lay for the author.

The Butterfly Dream was a powerful story but it was so short I read it twice to make sure I had not missed anything and felt it should have been in the first half of the book.

Problems of Communication was just weird! A dolphin mind meld and some strange movie watching, fascinating if a little off the wall.

What you Will was a brilliant ending to a great collection, short sharp but not so sweet – it did leave me with a grin though.

April Grey certainly has a way of telling a story that grabs you straight off and throws you around the room a bit before letting you sit down on a spikey surface.

I always enjoy her short stories and would love to see a novel by her, the comedy angle that she manages to capture amongst the most gruesome of ideas is great!

Thank you Vix!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lunacon is almost here

If you are near Rye, NY Lunacon is being held this weekend (March 14-16) at the Hilton Rye.

I expect to have a great time! Hope to see you there...

5:30 pm The Biggest Writing Mistakes New Authors Make
7 pm       Origami for Beginners
8 pm       Basic Crocheting

10 am     The REAL cost and Problems of Self-publishing
3 pm       When should you self-publish?
8 pm        Horror: It ain't just Chainsaws and Zombies

10 am      Genre Bending: Making Good Cross-Genre Mashups
12 pm      Autographing