Writing: POV

cory bio picture~ By Corrina Lawson

Note: The post originally appeared here

Yes, we can argue all day long about whether switching POV in the middle of a scene is a good idea or not.

But here’s why POV is important: the way a reading is sucked into a story is that they’re seeing the world through a character’s eyes.

If you swap to another pair of eyes, the reader will be disoriented and might *stop reading.* That’s bad.

So feel free to head-hop as much as you want but be aware you run the risk of tossing a reader out of the story.

Check your manuscript. Have you swapped POV because it’s just absolutely necessary? Or because it was a way to show what’s going on but there might be another way?

Have you tried writing the scene without changing POV? Why not? I’ve found practicing staying in one POV makes me word harder as a writer and learn new storytelling techniques and burrow deeper into my POV character’s head.

Lois McMaster Bujold is a master (mistress) at staying in one point of view but yet perfectly conveying what the non-POV characters are like. I love her Aral Vorkosigan. As a reader, I’ve never ever been in his head.

Corrina is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director and co-founder of GeekMom.com.

* Readers, please take our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments! *

How do you feel about head-hopping?

It throws me out of any story I’m reading.
I don’t mind it.
It depends on the genre.
Some authors can pull it off.
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2 thoughts on “Writing: POV”

  1. When I first started writing, I wrote EVERYONE’s internal thoughts – including the stock character who had one line and was never heard from again. Not only was it confusing, but it bogged down the story.

    I don’t mind head hopping if it’s perfectly clear who’s doing what. Maybe not every other sentence, but scenes don’t need to be in all one POV for me.

  2. I write in first POV. Imagine me when an editor said let’s add the hero’s POV. Uh, no. I like first and its intimacy.

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