Until several months ago I didn’t even have a clue what a POV (point of view) was in the craft of writing. And I’d never heard the term “head-hopping” until recently. Okay, all the authors are probably shaking their heads and muttering tsk-tsk. But I’ve never had a writing lesson in my life, and I’ve lived a good number of years. Everything I know about the craft of writing, I’ve learned from various writers’ groups I belong to.
I discovered this very week that I am guilty of
head-hopping. In fact, my entire manuscript that I sent off for publication is
full of head-hopping. Oh dear me, I moan as I wring my hands in anguish.
Whatever shall I do? I have nightmares of walking into a room of writers and
authors and enduring the pain of pointing and whisperings, “She’s a
Now I’m wondering if I’ve ever read a book where the author
head-hopped. Would I have noticed? I’m sure I wouldn’t have, especially if it
was a good story. I think I’d notice now
since I’ve been enlightened about head-hopping, but I’m not sure I would care
as long as it didn’t affect the flow of the story.
The only sigh of relief I’ve had was yesterday when I read
on the ACFW site that a member was reading a Stephen King book and he head-hopped
all the way through it. Seriously? Stephen King? Perhaps he didn’t get the memo
stating that head-hopping is a no-no in the literary world.
Since my enlightenment, I’ve been reading through a WIP and
the head-hopping is now glaringly obvious to me. How can I be sharing about
Leah’s thoughts and words in one paragraph and in the very next paragraph Tony
wonders why he’s never noticed how beautiful and intelligent is his wife, Leah.
How dare Tony be thinking anything at all when it’s clearly not his turn to
Who makes up these rules anyway? POV, head-hopping, show not
tell, too much back story…the list goes on and on. That puff of air you feel is me heaving a