WRITING TIPS-Understanding Point of View


I’ve decided to introduce a new segment on the blog–WRITING TIPS. So each week (or I hope so), I’ll introduce a topic and give some advice about it. Along with my advice,  This is supposed to be an interactive segment. So if you want to add your two cents worth, go for it. If you have a question about the topic, ask it! I’ll try to answer it or find someone who can.


This is a crucial skill that all writer’s must master  if you want to write excellent book. And isn’t that what we all want!

Point of View refers to the person whose head you are in as you read the scene. You hear what they hear, you see what they see, you feel and smell what they do, and you can ONLY know what their thoughts are.  So when your POV (that’s point of view) character says a snappy comment, we can’t know what the other person thinks about that. The POV character might guess at what the other person is thinking but that’s as far as it goes!

The current writing rule is one POV character per scene. If you bounce from one character’s POV to another in the same scene that’s called head-hopping and that’s a big no-no these days. That wasn’t always the case, but it is now. Once upon a time we would know what each character in the scene was thinking, planning, scheming or feeling but no more.

The trend could change, of course, and it wouldn’t bother me a bit if it did! I read a book by a very–very–very famous writer and he did a lot of head hopping. I’m not sure if that’s the case with his other books, but I must admit it did take away from the enjoyment of the book. At least for me.

Here’s a very quick example of head-hopping and how to fix it:

NO-NO:  Lil hoped Ronny would love the cake she baked. After all it was his mother’s recipe. She handed him the plate and watched as he took a bite. Ronny couldn’t believe what he was tasting. It was horrible nothing like his mother’s.

FIX: Lil hoped Ronny would love the cake she baked. After all it was his mother’s recipe. She handed him the plate and watched as he took a bite. Ronny scooped a huge bite and popped it in his mouth. He smiled, then chewed. After a moment, he grabbed up his napkin and spit into it. What had she done wrong?

Can you see the difference in the two scenes? In the first you have thoughts from both characters. In the second, you only have Lil’s thoughts. But you can still very clearly know what Ronny thinks about the cake.

Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts about Point of View or to ask a question if you have one.







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