Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let's discuss POV and "head hopping."

I write in third person, omniscient, past tense. It's just who I am. It's my style my voice. I do not seeing talking about one character and then another as head hopping, so long as there is a transition.

Below are two instances I've written. Thoughts? Comments?

1. From Broken:

At dawn, Raif sneaked back into his own house in an effort to avoid a confrontation with his daughter. He met her face to face, a wicked trick after the treat he had just left on a nasty, stormy October 31st.
"You fucking hypocrite!" spat Trista like a cobra spitting venom.
"Excuse me? Since when do you talk to me like that?" Raif snarled.
"Since you are a fucking hypocrite! How dare you come down on Townes and me for having sex? You're doing the same thing. Mom would be so disappointed."
"Leave your mother out of this."
"You obviously are. Thank God that slut is in the guest house and at least not in Mom's bed."
Before he could stop himself, Raif slapped Trista across the face. In all the years, he had only spanked her twice. He pulled his hand back bit his knuckle. What did I just do? Oh, God! What did I just do?
Trista gasped and covered her face with her hand. My daddy hit me. I don't believe it. Daddy hit me. Tears stung her eyes.
With great deliberation and in a soft whisper, Raif said, "It's time for you to find your own place to live. Once this baby is born, you will find an apartment. Townes will pay for it. I have had absolutely more than enough. Get out of my way. I need to shower and hit the road."
In the shower, Raif bawled like a baby. "Oh, God. I didn't mean to do that. What do I do?"

A few minutes later as Raif drove off in a downpour, unwanted tears on his own face; Trista stared furiously down the driveway.

2. From Wilted Magnolias:

April put her head on Russell Bear's chest. "Don't start, Russell Bear. Zach's okay. I like him. If Russell wants me, he knows where to find me. I refuse to chase him. Now, go to sleep."
April closed her eyes. "Stop worrying, Russell Bear. This time next week, Zach'll have a real girlfriend, and it'll be you and me again. I know I can always depend on you."
April started to cry. "Damn it, Russell Bear! I love him."
Russell turned his head to the foot of his bed. He rubbed Wolfgang's ears. The dog whimpered as he sensed Russell's state of mind. "Maybe I can sic you on her. She's under my skin," he confided in his best friend.
Wolfgang whined again and licked his master's cheek. "You like her, too, huh, boy?"
Russell closed his eyes, but all he could see was visions of what life with April would be like. He allowed himself to indulge in fancy as he envisioned making love to the little spitfire he called 'Munchkin.' He moaned, "Damn it, Wolfgang. This is crazy. I can't believe it. Wolfgang, I love the little Munchkin."

1 comment:

  1. I think the trouble is that there are two different kinds of third person aside from limited view. Omnipresent view and All Characters view.

    In Omnipresent view the audience is from above, watching the different characters like a movie. We see things that the main character (or main character in a particular scene) does not. We may focus on one character then shift to another. But in all it is from the view of above and thus the transitions (though short) are smooth.

    In All Characters view we get the limited third person view of multiple people within one scene. Often going back and forth between the different characters without a transition. When readers complain about "head hopping" they are usually talking about this and not Omnipresent view. I have seen All Characters view done very well, but it is very difficult. And done wrong usually just looks like poorly written Omnipresent view.

    I've never seen any articles written about this issue, so If you know of any, send them my way! :)