So this is Lake Michigan as seen from the backyard of Legs Inn™ in Cross Village, MI, which is near Petoskey. (I wanted a nice calm scene here so the rant that follows does not seem too...um, ranty.)
POV, or point-of-view (for those of you who enjoy reading more than analyzing), has become an issue in my new release, Deception. I have the tendency to write in 3rd person omniscient POV, a POV that some refer to as head-hopping. These are NOT the same, by the way, but they can sometimes be confused. (Heck, I'm a writer and I'm still not sure of the exact difference except in extreme cases.)
The problem with head-hopping is the reader can lose his/her connection to the character if he/she suddenly becomes confused as to whose head they actually occupy at that moment. I understand this concern. However, if the transition is done with grace POV switches can increase the “character-reader” connection rather than detract from it.
Here's my problem: I have no idea if my transitions are graceful or choppy. I am my own worst critic. I can't re-read the books I've already published because then I want to go back and fix things that may or may not actually need correcting.
I had one reader who confided in regard to my first book, Betrayal:
“The point of view was the only real thing that held me up at all. It was sometimes difficult to tell who was thinking what, but for the most part it was fine. I just don't think I've really read much in the 3rd person omniscient. There were a few spots that were a little confusing. But I quickly got over it!”
At the time that I received this critique, I already had four books published. Because of this very, very helpful/thoughtful critique, I am attempting something a little out of my comfort zone on my newest book, something that has resulted in an indefinite delay on Deception's publication. I am rewriting it, converting it to a clearer 3rd person POV. I am avoiding the use of two or more POVs in one scene. (There are still more POVs in the book than just the hero/heroine. I have a few secondary characters whose views are too important to leave out.) I am curious to see if this book will be as enthralling as the ones I've written in the head-hoppy POV.
Question time. Do POV shifts bother you as a reader? Does knowing everything everyone is thinking help or hinder your connection to the character(s)? (If you've read one of my books, feel free to contribute your views on what you read. I promise I won't get angry and I'll only cry a very little bit.)
By the way, the reader who said the above also said this:
“I will admit that you're warning about your story being dark made me a touch leery. But I just finished reading Betrayal and loved it!!! In fact, I didn't find it dark at all...Rather your characters were very complex and seemed more like real people with real problems.”
Just a friendly reminder: My author photo poll is still open. Leave a comment on the post about author photos to be entered to win a signed copy of the aforementioned Regency, Deception.
Happy reading, writing, and blogging!