Fortnight of Fright 2014: Guest Post from Author Bethany Griffin!

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, I am SO excited to welcome author Bethany Griffin to the blog! I asked her to participate in A Fortnight of Fright and she graciously accepted, offering up a guest post for all the readers today! I read her most recent book, THE FALL, as one of my Halloween reads this year so I’m especially excited to read more about it in today’s guest post!


How Setting is Like a Character in THE FALL

I’m going to begin by saying that I hope that most (all?) of my settings are developed enough to be characters within the stories, but in The Fall since the setting is a haunted house, it’s a little easier to consider it a character, and even to give it some personality and a will of its own.

I tend to layer my stories in that I lay out the bare bones of plot and dialogue first, and then add in details and description, and then delete what isn’t necessary, layer in more, delete, etc. until I’m happy with what’s on the page, so I’d say in the Fall, about 25-30% of what’s on the page was original to the story, and the rest was added as I worked back through the story over multiple drafts.

So, in The Fall, the house has intent—it wants the Usher line to continue, though it eventually drives every Usher mad. It wants to control Madeline. At times we believe it enjoys her adoration, at times it seems directly antagonistic towards her, particularly when she doesn’t do as it wants. The house is more parent to Madeline than both of her actual parents combined.

The following scene is from Madeline’s 15th year, when she’s starting to investigate everything, furtively looking for ways to subvert the will of the house.

My feet make no sound as I slip from my bedroom into the corridor. Cassandra follows. I thought I heard Roderick in the corridor, but he is very obviously in his room. Even from here, I can hear the sounds of his breathing. Roderick’s door isn’t fully closed. Though he ignores the power of the house, he knows instinctively not to be trapped inside any of the rooms. I brush my hand against his door as I pass, pulling away quickly so the house can’t urge me to go in.
 The moon shines through the window at the end of the hallway, nebulous and green. Forgetting to be watchful, forgetting fear, I approach…
A black curtain billows in my face. Silk slides against steel as the curtain unravels from the rod, pushing me to the thick carpet that muffled my footsteps moments ago. The cloth molds to my face, pressing into my mouth as I gasp, trying to draw enough air to scream.

 We see the house through Madeline’s eyes, so the reader should get her sense of the house as an entity, and though they may question Madeline’s perceptions, it’s impossible not to see the house as a sort of looming presence.


Another BIG thank you to Bethany Griffin for that great guest post! One of my favorite things about the book was how much the house was really a part of it so it was so great to get a bit more insight on that too! I highly recommend THE FALL for one of your creepy Halloween reads this year too!

If you want to check out my review for THE FALL, you can do that here!
Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin