Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Boing, boing, boing...

I've been studying writing seriously for about ten years and I admit, I have a lot to learn but I think I'm getting there. For a long time when I read, even for pleasure, I picked up a book about writing.

I counted once and had twenty-five books on writing the novel and I've bought more since. Like I said, I have a thing for books about writing.

Here's where I'm going with this...  In all the books I've read, all the workshops I've taken,  head-hopping has been condemned. Especially for novice writers.

You know head-hopping right? The shifts from one POV character to another in the middle of a scene or paragraph. We're reading along with one character, right in the middle of the action then all of a sudden it changes mid paragraph and we are now in another character's head.

It's disconcerting. It's abrupt. It's often confusing. It's annoying to have to go back and reread to see what happened.

The other day I downloaded a book and started reading. I really enjoyed the story but the constant head-hopping seriously impaired my enjoyment.

This author changed POV character almost every page, often mid paragraph. I had to stop reading, go back and reread so often, I lost count. When I read, I want to escape into the world and having to check the map every five minutes or so hampers that. It takes me from that world and reminds me it's just a book and not a well written one at that.

So, my question to you... How do you feel about head-hopping? Do you, don't you? Like it or not? Is it okay in certain instances and if so, when?

This is just "part" of my books on writing.

Oh, the book was  "self-published" however it had been well edited except for all the head-hopping.  And nope, I probably won't buy another of hers because I'll always remember I had to work to read this one. I'll always think of her as the "head-hopper."

1 comment:

Gay said...

I'm with you on this one. Disturbs me even more than coming across something out of historical sequence...which is really something that will make me throw a book across the room. (Not really, but figuratively)