• Craft,  Writing Ideas

    When Should You Switch POV?

    Early Harlequin romances were written in 3rd person from the heroine’s pov (point of view). It was quite a while before the hero was allowed his pov. Once he was, it wasn’t uncommon for writers to “head hop.” (Go from the heroine’s thoughts to the hero’s and back.) When I started writing romances, I was head hopping—not within a paragraph, but within a scene. It wasn’t until 1990 that a new editor (to me) suggested I stay in one pov for a scene. (She was, however, okay with head hopping in a love scene.) Her feeling was by staying in one character’s pov the reader would feel closer to that…

  • Craft,  Writing Ideas

    The Craft of Writing: Point-of-View

    One of the first decisions a writer must make when starting a story is whose point-of-view (pov) to use? Will the author tell the story? A narrator? One of the characters? Several of the characters? At the end of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century it was common for an all seeing/all knowing narrator to either tell the story or interrupt the story at times to inject a bit of knowledge. By the end of the twentieth century interruptions of that nature were considered “author intrusion.” Over the years writers have strived to immerse the reader into the action of the story. This is especially true of…

  • Musings,  Writing Ideas

    Before the First Word is Written

    What many readers and new writers don’t realize is how many decisions are made before that first word is written. 1. Who is the main character (MC)? I may have a vague idea about the character, but soon I need to “get to know” this person. a. Name, sex, age, physical description, etc. b. What he/she wants and why. c. How the MC’s past will influence his/her actions and attitudes? 2. Who is the antagonist? (The villain) The reader may not know who this is until the end of the story, but I need to know. a. I need to know almost as much about this person as I do…

  • Writing Ideas

    Head-Hopping

    This month (all 8 days of it) I started transcribing my last Harlequin Temptation —STORYBOOK HERO—so I can put it out as an e-book. That book was published in 1989, before I started writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line, before my editor there chastised me about “head-hopping.” For anyone not familiar with this term, head-hopping is when you’re in one character’s “head” or point-of-view (POV) in one paragraph and in another character’s POV the next paragraph. A really bad example is when the writer “head-hops” within the same paragraph. Now there are published books where you’ll find the writer switches from one POV to another on a page and you have…