Discussion on Point of View

My friend and fellow writer, Keanan Brand, has shared some excellent thoughts on POV. Well worth stealing!

Adventures In Fiction

Today, I answered a friend’s instant message containing questions from another friend regarding the use of third-person omniscient point of view:

Moving between different people’s thoughts (“head hopping” is the pejorative term for it) is the norm for 3rd person omniscient. More modern style calls for staying close to one character for a solid block of time. I guess there are two problems that can come up: 1) Abrupt, incoherent changes, like in the middle of a sentence. 2) Excessive switching, even when it is clear who is thinking.

I’m pretty sure the book doesn’t commit sin #1. Every change of character gets a new paragraph. I try to put any words, actions and thoughts for that character in the same paragraph. Thoughts are treated just like dialog, but internal.

The question is, do the places where it switches minds cause the narrative to lose effectiveness? Is it harder to…

View original post 830 more words


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