Thursday, June 30, 2011

Head-Hopping To Do Or Not To Do!

I'll just say it straight out: I have a huge problem with head hopping. I don't like to read it and I don't like to write it.

I find it confusing and off-putting.
My novel was written in the first person and I have won over converts who really don't like first person because I go deeply into other characters despite the one person narrating it. Many times that character ('I') is actually just the narrator so it can be done.

By the way, I like the sound of a narrative that is pulling me into a particular story. I just do. I find I enjoy those sorts of books and stories the most.

The sequel is also in first person, however there is a journal involved which enables me to have an entirely different character discussing, as it happens, his immortal existence.

And just because I like to experiment (and so far, fingers crossed, it's working) I have my main character not only read the journal, but I have her (intermittently) discuss what she's reading with the journal writer as well as interacting with minor characters.

Strange? Well perhaps but it seems to be working so far!

For short fiction, I write in third person and I do not ever head hop. That's just me. If a writer can make it work, that's fantastic, I'm all for experimenting and being daring! I just don't feel it right for me.

Now, a funny thing happened while I was writing The House on Blackstone Moor, I decided to have a portion of the book in the voice of another character, but guess what? My publisher didn't care for it. She did leave it entirely up to me and I took her advice and changed it. I feel that she was entirely right and I was oh so very wrong to have done it the other way in the first place.

Head hopping, no head hopping it's up to the writer's own point of view to decide!


  1. Okay. I'll chalk this up to the vast and numerically superior anti-head hoppers.

  2. Carol, I agree, I would rather read first person any time over third because authors head-hop a hell of a lot more in third person and it drives me batty! A little head hopping is okay. I can think of only one author who head-hops a lot but pulls it off and that's Cassandra Clair. I can tolerate her head-hoping only because she gets so deep into each character voice that it feels like first person.

  3. Gregory! that's funny! hmm okay!
    And JD thanks!
    Yes, that's right! it's almost verbotten to head hop in first person! what a great point.

    and if an author as you mention can get deeply into a character, we'll forgive a few hops!

    thanks you two! that is great!

  4. Hello, my friends. I promised that I would come back and say hello every once in awhile. I have been doing a lousy job of blogging lately, but I'm hoping to turn over a new leaf this week, so to speak. I'm still attempting to figure out just what it is that I'm supposed to be doing with my time. Little that it is.
    In any event, I hope all of you are doing well. *waves to the new faces* Hopefully I'll make it back real soon.

    Wicked Writer veteran,