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Showing posts from February, 2016

Head hopping in fiction and reasons why I don't like it

I'm often given pieces of writing to critique. And one of my big bears is head hopping. I don't see this is first person point of view, but I sometimes see it in 3rd person point of view. I must point out that head hopping it isn't wrong or right. It's a personal preference. But here's why I don't like it.

Head hopping from one character to another in the same scene is telling the reader what they need to know. Marge is doing this. James is angry with Marge doing that. Marge knows that James is angry. James knows that Marge knows that James is angry.


For me, there is mystery and suspense in what I don't know. Plotting, scheming, agonising over choices...these things can't take place if we are head hopping from one character to another and we know everything that is going on. Marge is doing this. She suspects James is angry but she keeps doing this. Is she teasing him? Testing him? Trying to destroy him?

Knowing everything that's happening is great f…

Science fiction versus fantasy

If you're like me you've written the first draft to your novel and now you're thinking, what next? Is this it or am I taking this further?

In it's current state my novel could be edited for character arc, narrative, emotion, and that would be that. It would also be classified as Fantasy because I haven't added in any real hard evidence to support the world I've built. And that's okay. Not all worlds need a huge level of detail. The author needs to know how the world operates but that data might not end up in the novel. Some books are totally about the character's journey and the world around them just exists, like air. We know air is all around us, we don't need to know the intricate makeup of how oxygen, wind and atmosphere works.

But I want to include lots of research about living underground in my current novel, so will this research make this a science fiction novel? To answer that question I need to determine which genre this book will end up a…