Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#2
That's really an opinion thing.  I think many posters here in the forum tend to favor of the "pick and stick" approach to fiction, where you don't flip viewpoints very often (or not at all).  Several authors have done well with the flips, and I've seen them handled in a fashion that didn't cause confusion, but those are more rare.
  
I would encourage you to remember that readers are in a different head space than you are.  They don't have your knowledge of the subtexts and curlicues of the story that are part of the future (which is in your head in some way or shape) until they've read the future bits of the story. 

Ultimately it's your story... you're in charge of it.  If you think it's necessary, then go with it.  

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#3

gej302 Wrote: That's really an opinion thing.  I think many posters here in the forum tend to favor of the "pick and stick" approach to fiction, where you don't flip viewpoints very often (or not at all).  Several authors have done well with the
gej302 Wrote: That's really an opinion thing.  I think many posters here in the forum tend to favor of the "pick and stick" approach to fiction, where you don't flip viewpoints very often (or not at all).  Several authors have done well with the flips, and I've seen them handled in a fashion that didn't cause confusion, but those are more rare.
  
I would encourage you to remember that readers are in a different head space than you are.  They don't have your knowledge of the subtexts and curlicues of the story that are part of the future (which is in your head in some way or shape) until they've read the future bits of the story. 

Ultimately it's your story... you're in charge of it.  If you think it's necessary, then go with it.  

flips, and I've seen them handled in a fashion that didn't cause confusion, but those are more rare.
  
I would encourage you to remember that readers are in a different head space than you are.  They don't have your knowledge of the subtexts and curlicues of the story that are part of the future (which is in your head in some way or shape) until they've read the future bits of the story. 

Ultimately it's your story... you're in charge of it.  If you think it's necessary, then go with it.  


 
Thanks for the reply. I'll have that in mind.

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#4
I read the first chapter of your story and just the beginning of the next one, and I will confess I was confused by who we were following. At first I thought the main character was a Griever, then that we were in an omniscient POV hopping in and out of different characters without warning, then I realized it probably didn't matter. Chapter Two, I figure we were being introduced to the MC right away, but I was already confused and the jump to Jacob didn't help.
It could be just your style, in which case by all means write your way, but if you want it to be clear who the main character is, perhaps give them a slower introduction then the lightning-round from Chapter 1. Get into their heads, give the readers a better idea of who they are before jumping to action. Or, if you want to introduce through action, perhaps show the entire scene exclusively through MC's perspective?
Just some ideas I got from the first chapter-and-a-bit. Hope it's helpful. :)

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#5
Making frequent POV switches is very hard to pull off well, and without it seeming confusing. Do what you want, but if you're not experienced, I'd strongly suggest you pick a character and stick to them. Occasional interludes with other characters are fine, but don't overdo it. (80% main character, 20% other characters maybe? Or even more main character than that.)

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#6
Rule of thumb is even in third, to keep head hopping and switching to a minimum where you can. This is not about grammar. It is suggested because readers find it confusing, and doing it can pop them out of a narrative. A single POV may actually take some forethought and planning to maintain, but that too, is part of story writing. Be sure any such changes are well telegraphed to the reader.

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#7
Headhopping has destroyed so many good fictions on RR.  Doing it too often and it confuses your readers, don't do it enough though and you'll piss off the reader.  Like everything else in writing, it's a balance.  

Take battle scenes.  Those are notoriously horrible on RR BECAUSE of the head hopping.  All the authors try and give the protagonist a team to fight with then they headhop between them in combat and it just makes the worst thing in the world.  Think of all those fictions that boomed to the top of best rated list, then dropped off after a few weeks when the ratings started dropping.  In combat, just nail your perspective down and make it VERY clear when you change perspective.  Don't just hop back and forth, if you change to this other PoV, stick with it until you make something of it.  

When I say "don't head hop enough" I mean for secondary perspectives.  People don't like alternate perspectives in the first place, so their attention span on them is very low.  Set an objective for the alternate perspective, and keep it down to a small portion of a larger chapter.  Like three pages out of ten.  You can always come back to it later.  

Re: Swapping point of view too fast?

#8

DarkD Wrote: Headhopping has destroyed so many good fictions on RR.  Doing it too often and it confuses your readers, don't do it enough though and you'll piss off the reader.  Like everything else in writing, it's a balance.  

Take battle scenes.  Those are notoriously horrible on RR BECAUSE of the head hopping.  All the authors try and give the protagonist a team to fight with then they headhop between them in combat and it just makes the worst thing in the world.  Think of all those fictions that boomed to the top of best rated list, then dropped off after a few weeks when the ratings started dropping.  In combat, just nail your perspective down and make it VERY clear when you change perspective.  Don't just hop back and forth, if you change to this other PoV, stick with it until you make something of it.  

When I say "don't head hop enough" I mean for secondary perspectives.  People don't like alternate perspectives in the first place, so their attention span on them is very low.  Set an objective for the alternate perspective, and keep it down to a small portion of a larger chapter.  Like three pages out of ten.  You can always come back to it later.


I've always found David Drake to write clean, tight battle scenes. He does a bit of head hopping in Hammer's Slammers as I recall and it isn't distracting. Takes a skilled writer to pull off.

My current project has a bit of head hopping in an upcoming chapter. I've left it in. If my readers find it distracting, I can take it out. We shall see how it goes.