Friday, April 5, 2013

To Hop or Not To Hop?

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about head hopping and multiple points of view.

I love seeing/hearing a story from two different points of view. For me it adds another layer to the story.  I remember reading Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and being blown away by the creativity. Awesome stuff.

I wrote one story that included the villain's pov as well as those of the lead characters. That was a lot of fun to write, but 3 povs seemed a bit much for today's market and that story is still in the figurative drawer.

How about you - do you like writing from the villain's pov? Multiple povs?
Hope to see you over at FTWA!

45 comments:

  1. I'll check it out.

    I enjoy multiple POVs. I've read a few books where it's confusing, but when it's done right I love it.

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  2. Medeia - I feel the same. Nothing worse than not knowing who's speaking! :)

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  3. Well Jemi, multiple POVs is all very fine and well to give you the balanced view so to speak BUT.... don't get me wrong but did you ever read a book where the main character kept changing all the time? Like you're just beginning to care about them then they're killed in an accident or misadvanture and someone else takes over the lead....kills a good book like nothing else....

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  4. I do and many novels I read have multiple points of view, or at least two. As long as a writer doesn't head-hop within a scene, I think it's fine. When I read something that is strictly first person, I always wonder what the other main character thought.

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  5. I don't really mind either way so long as I know who is saying what and so I guess it's up to how skilled the author is I suppose!! Take care
    x

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  6. Like Medeia, I really like it when it's done right.

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  7. Head hopping and multiple POVs are two totally different things, at least in my opinion.

    I love multiple POVs, but I hate head hopping. Make sure the change is apparent and the POV is needed. It can add to the suspense, that's for sure!

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  8. I like head hopping, when it's done well, but it's fallen out of favor. I enjoy multiple POV's and use them in my writing. I just like getting into different character's heads.

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  9. Maria - great point! You have to 'live' with them to care about them. Frequent switches doesn't work well!

    Yvonne - I like those multiple pov stories too :)

    Old Kitty - I think you're so right - the skill is all! :)

    Natalie - me too! :)

    Stacy - it really can! I love when that switch creates a cliff hanger!

    Linda - I agree. A lot of romance authors do (or used to) head hop and if it's done well, I like it!

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  10. All my books have at least three POV. My fantasy books have even more, some good guys, some bad guys. I like reading books with multiple POVs.

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  11. I do enjoy multiple POVs. Wonder was amazing and had about 5 different POVs. I also loved in HP when we would get to get inside other characters' heads. :)

    ~Jess

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  12. Susan - me too! I think fantasy (especially epic) lends itself well to multiple povs!

    Jess - me too! It's so interesting to see how different characters see the same situations!

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  13. I definitely think the use of multiple POV's in a story is beneficial to the reader, by allowing them to get more engrossed in the story, but you want to be careful to keep the main character's POV as the primary one. After all, whose story is really being told?

    Head hopping from one character to another in the same scene can be very confusing, and I think changing POV's in the same scene should be limited to cases where extreme emotion or action justifies a change. Also if you change POV once in a scene, then that is usually enough.

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  14. Rechelle - agreed! I do like those 2 povs in a romance - because I like getting the story from both sides! :)

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  15. I generally don't write from the villains perspective but I do have a story in mind in which I do. Some day I hope to write it!

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  16. Ms H - I do like those villains - they're often such fun! :)

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  17. For me it depends on the story as to whether I want to get into several heads or stay in one. I haven't done a villain yet, but that intrigues me.

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  18. Lee - it really does intrigue me too! Fun stuff! :)

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  19. The most I've done is 2 POV's, and I like what that allowed me to do. At first, I had considered making it a triad, but decided two was good. It would be fun to write from the villain's POV, so I may do that some day.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  20. Shannon - those extra povs are fun to play with! The one I've got in the drawer probably has 5 or 6 pages total from the villain's pov - but it was so much fun!

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  21. I write third person with two pov (hero/heroine). Though I like how first person can manipulate the reader to viewing everything from a biased and sometimes flawed point of view. (I love the True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and so do my girls, btw.)

    Jane Austin was great at manipulating with a mostly first person-ish pov. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth's prejudice colors the whole novel. She's so smart and witty that it's hard to notice, but by the end, she's completely misjudged Darcy to the point that it's a bit of a surprise that he'd do such a selfless act at the end.

    And in Emma, the reader is so entranced by Emma's world and her wit that the reader can be swayed by her bad judgement. So much so that when her love interest is actually engaged to someone else, it's a bit of a shock. That single-view lens with which to view the story, when used well, can lead to all kinds of surprises.

    I'm just not that clever as an author to utilize it!

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  22. Ava - neither am I! Those are awesome examples of how an unreliable or biased narrator/pov can become an essential part of the plot and the pleasure for the reader! Thanks!! :)

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  23. I was actually talking to my husband about this the other day. I think it depends on the story. I must say the books where I hop from pov to pov, I find I don't get as close to the character as I do with books from one pov. Also, I think it's VERY hard to pull off and do it right. Each pov should sound completely different and the reader shouldn't have to go back and figure out whose speaking at that time. There are very few books that I've found that do it well.

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  24. Christina - it's not easy to pull off! Having those distinct voices for the characters really is vital. :)

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  25. Hi Jemi,

    I'm off to check the post. While I enjoy multiple POV, I don't like head hopping in the middle of a scene or in same paragraph.

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  26. Nas - it's really hard to pull it off well in mid stride. I like using those chapter breaks too :)

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  27. I love jumping into multiple brains. Especially when you can see the character blunders and you want to scream because you have insider info. from another POV.

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  28. Leslie - exactly! Love having that insider info :)

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  29. One of my clients, Gerry Dodge, uses that technique a lot in his manuscript, to great effect.

    By the way, I sort of expect you to kick some butt in my query contest. Just sayin'...

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  30. Ethan - AH! forgot about the query contest... Yikes!!

    I love multiple pov when it's well done! :)

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  31. I love writing from the villain's POV. I did that in my first book. In my new book, I have only hero/heroine. But the third book is back to the villain - can't stay away from my dark side :)

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  32. Carol - the villains are so much fun!! Maybe that's the way we can let our dark sides out! :)

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  33. I enjoy reading multiple POVs when they work. Writing multiple POVs can be fun, but tricky.
    And now I'm off to visit you at FTWA. : )

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  34. Thanks Cynthia - I agree - multiple povs can add to the story, but it must work!

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  35. I have a lot of fun when I write multiple point of view, especially if there's a really bad villain involved. That's when my dark side gets to come out and play. :D

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  36. Pat - that's so much fun! Letting loose our dark sides is a blast! :)

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  37. Writing from a different point of view can be fun! And I loved Jon Scieszka's creativity too.

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  38. i'm actually rewriting a MG story with 3 POVs. It's tricky but also fun!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  39. Beth - Scieszka is brilliant! :)

    Nutschell - it is tricky - but I love seeing the story from different angles :)

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  40. My current manuscript, which has been looked at by a few readers, has 4 POV. I hope I've pulled it off!

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  41. Theresa - I bet you have! It can be so much fun to see the story from different angles - sounds great!

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  42. Definitely depends on the story, but I do find first person compelling when the character's voice and the author's voice are a good fit.

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  43. Patricia - exactly! When the author is skilled, 1st can be very compelling! :)

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