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message 1: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
#OnWriting
Which point of view are you using, and why?

Do you feel when you're head hopping?

The term head-hopping specifically refers to non-delineated changes of POV (written from within the head of a character) within a scene that move quickly between characters (ie one sentence or a short paragraph, then back again or to another character), especially if it’s between more than two characters, or uses the POV of minor characters who have limited POV throughout the rest of the story.

Valid changes of POV are limited to main characters and are clearly delineated with a smooth baton change.


message 2: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 22 comments Massimo wrote: "are clearly delineated with a smooth baton change.
"


How delightfully you put that! So true. I'm using the omniscient viewpoint but then my narrator is a deity! But even so, I am not free to head-hop. I still try to "clearly delineate with a smooth baton change"


message 3: by Massimo (last edited May 06, 2013 12:15AM) (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Tui wrote: "Massimo wrote: "are clearly delineated with a smooth baton change.
"

How delightfully you put that! So true. I'm using the omniscient viewpoint but then my narrator is a deity! But even so, I am n..."


It is not an easy thing to do, a correct POV treatment; it's a minefield of assumptions. A way to make smooth batton changes might be a paragraph or more of omniscient POV, to create a break between different third person close POVs.


message 4: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 22 comments Massimo wrote: "smooth batton changes might be a paragraph or more of omniscient POV, to create a break between different third person close POVs"

Now you've got my head spinning - I knew this group would turn out to be challenging!


message 5: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
A narrator telling the reader what a character is thinking in omniscient point of view is not head-hopping so long as the writing remains in the omniscient narrator’s voice and it is clear whose perspective the narrator is relating.

In true omniscient POV there is only one voice, that of the narrator, although this all knowing voice of the narrator knows what everyone is thinking, those words don’t come from the character’s perspective ie from inside the characters’ mind/head.

Example, "George wondered why Henry was running away with his arms flailing", is a narrator’s voice, and therefore is not head hopping and it is in omniscient POV, whereas, "George wondered why the hell Henry was running away like an idiot," is in the character’s voice and therefore is not omniscient POV but third person close.


message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Glaze (aoldfashionedgirl) Massimo wrote: "#OnWriting
Which point of view are you using, and why?


I have decided I need to use the third person omniscient. In order to properly reveal my tale that takes place over a large span of years, this seems to make the most sense for me. I can cover a large span of time
with fewer words this way. (Hopefully.) Also telling two stories that take place at different times, but ultimately are connected. Should make more sense with this pov.


message 7: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Jamie wrote:
I have decided I need to use the third person omniscient. In order to properly reveal my tale that takes place over a large ..."


POV is part of a storytelling and it influence the way a story is... told ;)

Each of them has its pros and cons. The third person omniscient provides a great freedom in terms of showing things other characters cannot know or be aware of, parallel lines, and different timelines but it has to provide the reader with only one voice, the omniscient narrator who cannot risk to get into third person close every time different characters are in the scene because then it becomes head hopping.

Probably most readers will not notice but think of it as if the narrator is an invisible presence in a scene and cannot 'read' minds of the characters, only relate what he 'sees' and 'hears' and have interpretation of their body language.


message 8: by Tui (last edited Jun 28, 2013 12:50AM) (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 22 comments I used this omniscient POV for Ripple because I needed a narrator who could have been present twenty million years in the past when Ripple's story began, and also a few hundred years in the future when Ripple's relevance finally becomes clear to humanity.
It could only be a deity - omniscient . . . but not omnipotent. (all-seeing but not all-powerful)


message 9: by Dionne (new)

Dionne (httpwwwgoodreadscomdionnelister) | 4 comments Massimo wrote: "Jamie wrote:
I have decided I need to use the third person omniscient. In order to properly reveal my tale that takes place over a large ..."

POV is part of a storytelling and it influence the w..."

Actually the omniscient narrator has access to all the characters thoughts and feelings as he/she is an "all knowing" narrator. Most work written in omniscient pov also uses close third person and apparently Hemmingway did this. I write with a combination of both and this 'head-hopping' thing for me is a bit of a myth. I used this pov at university and not once did my lecturers say anything about 'head-hopping' or inappropriate pov changes.


message 10: by Massimo (last edited Jul 01, 2013 06:43AM) (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Dionne wrote: "Actually the omniscient narrator has access to all the characters thoughts and feelings..."

I agree, as I posted above time ago: "In true omniscient POV there is only one voice, that of the narrator, although this all knowing voice of the narrator knows what everyone is thinking, those words don’t come from the character’s perspective ie from inside the characters’ mind/head. "

Knowing is different than being "inside the characters' head".

A subtle difference. Hemingway did the above, doing differently would be head-hopping :)

----
PS What I posted was misleading.
Example, "George wondered why Henry was running away with his arms flailing", is a narrator’s voice, and therefore is not head hopping and it is in omniscient POV, whereas, "George wondered why the hell Henry was running away like an idiot," is in the character’s voice and therefore is not omniscient POV but third person close.


message 11: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (bkmcavoy) @Massimo What is your preferred POV?

I write nonfiction, but have a fiction idea and have been considering this question. There are two main characters. Both of their stories will be revealed as it leads up to their meeting. What type of POV fits?


message 12: by Massimo (last edited Jul 05, 2013 12:26AM) (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
I don't know if a preferred one sticks out enough or not. My trilogy has started in 1st person, without a conscious decision process behind, while with the short stories a few came out in 3rd close, again without giving it a thought. I guess it depends how close to the story the writer feels when the story finds the proper channel and the vision starts.

Maybe, but just maybe, with only two characters—and if their trail is independent until the fatal encounter— would the story allow for 1st POV for each character until they meet? And then 3rd person starts when their stories overlap... It might be intriguing.

It would be interesting to hear from others as well :)


message 13: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (bkmcavoy) Good idea. Thanks, Massimo. When I hear my storyline in my head. I hear it as third person limited. Have anyone used this POV? What was challenging or easy about its use? What would be important to remember? What books/authors use it?


message 14: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (bkmcavoy) I recently bought Nancy Kress' Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpointsand read her section on third person limited POV today. Very interesting! She points out that there are three levels of "distance" in this style: close--which resembles first person POV, middle, and distant. Very interesting description. Helpful. Answered my earlier question.


message 15: by Dionne (new)

Dionne (httpwwwgoodreadscomdionnelister) | 4 comments Massimo wrote: "Dionne wrote: "Actually the omniscient narrator has access to all the characters thoughts and feelings..."

I agree, as I posted above time ago: "In true omniscient POV there is only one voice, tha..."


But it's okay to go from omniscient to third close in the same story. I don't like the term 'head hopping'. I think if you use pov changes smoothly, and the reader understands what is going on, it's fine. Of course, I may be standing by myself here, but I'm sticking to it lol. At uni, the study guide (which was written by a professor) stated that both povs were commonly used together. I've seen lots of discussions on it and I still think people are worrying about nothing :). *ducks and waits for fruit to fly* ;).


message 16: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Kerry wrote: "I recently bought Nancy Kress' Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpointsand read her section on third person limited POV tod..."

Interested about the "middle". What does she says about that? the differences must be subtle.


message 17: by Massimo (last edited Jul 08, 2013 01:13AM) (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Dionne wrote: "Massimo wrote: "Dionne wrote: "Actually the omniscient narrator has access to all the characters thoughts and feelings..."

I agree, as I posted above time ago: "In true omniscient POV there is onl..."


:) I might have given the wrong impression. Yes, you may change POV if clearly manifested. If the switch is only for one sentence, or involves several different characters, within the same paragraph even, then no matter how well it’s done, it’s head-hopping.

Head hopping refers to changes of POV within a scene that jumps quickly between different characters, sometimes in one sentence or a short paragraph, then back again to another character.

The smooth change of POV happens in a change of a scene (an added blank line, or the *** in the middle of an otherwise empty line) and if limited to the main characters and to different scenes (blank line).

If it was a movie, head hopping would be like showing a scene between multiple characters and the camera would jump suddenly to show the scene from the POV of the actor talking. If you notice, even in movies, the POV is used efficiently. The camera "follows" the main character, or it has the MC in the first plane (kind of third close). Imagine instead if every time an actor opens his mouth the POV changes to that actor. To make you feel dizzy. Head hopping in writing would be the equivalent.

Another smooth change is to have a paragraph (or more) of omniscient POV between different third person close POVs.

No fruits flying :) I think we describe the same thing from a different perspective; smooth changes of POV, where the reader is shown and flows with the change, are not head hopping :)

Why people head hop? I think it comes from the urge to explain everything to the reader, so in the same scene the writer tries to tell things to the reader from different POV to 'make the reader understand'. The result is the opposite, with reader left with very little to imagine themselves, or in need to reread passages to understand who's thinking, talking, reacting. And if the writer cedes to the temptation to make things 'clearer' one ends up with flying names of the thinker, the one talking, even in the same phrase...

... John admired her. "You're very nice, today, Mary," but Mary thought John only wanted to flatter her. 'He's lying' burned in her mind as it did the day before. "So, you're leaving?" she asked, ready to catch any revealing signal from his eyes.
John raised his eyebrow. 'Could she know?', he thought. "Maybe, later, why are you asking?" Mary was clearly up to something, "Nothing, really." She knew he always had the evening with the boys, but she needed to be careful not to raise John's suspicions. He leaned back to the chair with nonchalance, when Mike showed up. "Always discussing, you two. I see nothing has changed." He glanced at them and wondered whether they would one day find peace. etc etc etc

I'm not sure if that shows it or not, as I naturally stay with one character during a same scene but scenes like the one above are heavy to read (at least to me :) and I imagine the reader having to hop from one character to the other without rest. I couldn't read a chapter that way :)


message 18: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Wow, sorry for the long post :)


message 19: by Dionne (new)

Dionne (httpwwwgoodreadscomdionnelister) | 4 comments Massimo wrote: "Dionne wrote: "Massimo wrote: "Dionne wrote: "Actually the omniscient narrator has access to all the characters thoughts and feelings..."

I agree, as I posted above time ago: "In true omniscient P..."


Ha ha, that was a very jolted narrative. A very nice example of what not to do lol!


message 20: by Kerry (last edited Jul 09, 2013 07:08PM) (new)

Kerry (bkmcavoy) Here is an example from Nancy Kress' book, Characters, Emotion, & Viewpoint, on "middle third person limited" POV:

"It's important to emphasize that close, middle, and distant third-person viewpoints are not really separate and discreet categories. Rather, they're a continuum, just as a camera moving progressively farther away from a film subject would have no absolute point labeled “far.” The terms are relative and flexible.

Somewhere in the ill-defined central territory of this flexible continuum lies middle-distance third person. It's the most flexible of all points of view. It means that, for the most part, you're viewing the action from a few feet away but with the freedom to slide in closer, into the character's head, or to back away, viewing him from the outside. Of course, this sliding in and backing away can't be constant or jarring, but certainly it's relatively easier to do both from a middle distance than from any other POV.

Martin Naparsteck effectively exploits the advantages of middle-distance third person in his story “Spinning.” Here is the opening:

Jeanie came from Mickey's right, stuck an envelope in his hand, and said “Here.” She spoke flatly with a tinge of obligation; he saw that she didn't want to give him the envelope, she had to. He didn't open it because Dom, sitting on his left, and Trippi, on his right, were talking to each other, and he was certain if they saw him doing something with the envelope, particularly open it, they would insist on knowing what was in it. He had no idea what was in it except he was certain it was something that would hurt his feelings. For months, everything connected to girls hurt his feelings . It was the terrible new emotion that had arrived just after his 14th birthday."

Kress, Nancy (2005-03-03). Write Great Fiction - Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint (p. 190). F+W Media, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


message 21: by Massimo (new)

Massimo Marino | 125 comments Mod
Kerry wrote: "Here is an example from Nancy Kress' book, Characters, Emotion, & Viewpoint, on "middle third person limited" POV:

"It's important to emphasize that close, middle, and distant third-person viewpoi..."


I like the analogy with the camera. It is how I imagine the different POVs.


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