Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Head Hopping

Writing tips from EC editors

Head Hopping

If the text indicates a character’s feelings or internal thoughts, that is the POV character. Avoid changing POV too frequently. It is a common practice to include a blank line when POV switches, to help the reader.

Example of really baaaad head hopping:

“We could play poker.” Darla smiled at Rick, hoping he’d say yes. She wasn’t ready to say goodnight just yet.  [Darla’s POV]

Rick dragged a hand over his jaw and nodded slowly. The devil in him wanted to suggest a small adaptation of the game. One involving the removal of clothes.  [Rick’s POV]

Darla didn’t miss the wicked sparkle in Rick’s gaze. Her skin prickled with anticipation. “I’ll get the cards.”  [Darla’s POV]

“Super.” Rick watched the sway of Darla’s hips as she sauntered to the kitchen.  [Rick’s POV]


Barbara Elsborg said...

And I tell you it's the thing critiquers of your work will jump on, and yet 'big' authors seem to get away with it. It really grates with me when I see it being done. Husband is so tired of lying next to me in bed and I yell - she's swapped POV in the same paragraph. He's a saint to put up with me.

Julie said...

Excellent points here. Excessive head-hopping is so distracting that even the best stories become hard to read.

Rhea Rhodan said...

It never bothered me as a reader until I learned it was wrong.

Barbara Elsborg said...

Rhea - isn't that the truth! We've been conditioned now to think it's wrong and there's no way back!