Last month we looked at the most common Points-of-View used in fiction today: First Person, Third-Person Limited, and Third-Person Omniscient. Now let’s explore some pitfalls to avoid in mastering POV.
Head-Hopping. Switching the viewpoint back and forth between characters in the same scene without a, well, a “heads-up” alert to the reader, is called head-hopping. It’s something to avoid because first, it makes the reader pause in his enjoyment of your story to figure out whose “head” he’s in (whose viewpoint) and second, when a reader is pulled out of a story, even momentarily, it interrupts the flow and unnecessarily weakens the impact of the scene. Example: Continue reading “Writers’ Font: Point of View Confusion”
My name is Lois and I am a head-hopper. Admitting that I am afflicted with this ‘disease of the pen’ is the only way I can begin the healing process.
The truth is, there is quite a bit about the craft of writing that I don’t know. I was not a creative writing major in college. While in college I filled blue book after blue book in English and French, analyzing politics and the literature of others. Point of View was a concept as foreign to me as the book Plunkett of Tammany Hall may be to you.
Before I go any further I would like to reference an excellent post here written by IU author Chris James. When I read it the first time, and the second and third time, I tried very hard to understand all of it. Unfortunately, the way that I learn is by doing. I need to practice something over and over again until I get it right. Continue reading “Holy Head-Hopping!”
Somebody once said that writing a book makes you an expert – but only on writing that one particular book. In other words, every project is unique. Just because you’ve written a book or two, it doesn’t mean you’ve got the whole “writing books” thing down pat.
I have been reminded of this while working on my current WIP. All five books of the Pipe Woman Chronicles were written in first person point of view, and same character was always the narrator. I know some people don’t like to read books written in first person, but I have to tell you that it cuts down on the temptation to engage in some bad authorial habits – like, for example, head-hopping. Continue reading “Head-Hopping”
Or maybe that should be bottom. These are ten of the … what should I call them? Mistakes I commonly see in indie books. Pet peeves. Maybe just the kind of things that will turn me off when reading a book.