1. Xerc

    Xerc New Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Likes Received:

    POV in a fight

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Xerc, Nov 20, 2015.

    Hi Guys

    I know head hopping and multiple POV in a chapter can be sacrilege, unless you are an extremely skilled writer (which I'm not), but I'd like to know if it's completely off limits.

    For example, I'll quickly set the scene. There are two protagonists, Bob and Jill with a number of their fellow side characters with them in a street. Jenny is a friend of Jill and is hiding behind a wall in the distance with another side character Milly . This is the final conflict with evil Maximus and his security guards. I'm putting very little detail just to give you an idea of the head hopping. I'm using *** to separate each POV :

    Jill aimed for his nose and connected. Blood splattered on the ground.

    Grasping at her chest, her heart pounded erratically. She knew she didn't have much time to get the antidote.


    Bob turned to see that Jill was taking care of herself, but he was so concerned for her degrading condition. He decided to concentrate on Maximus. If the cure was here, Maximus would surely have it.


    Jenny watched from a distance as Bob and Jill took on most of the security guards, though Bob had now turned his attention to the brute Maximus.

    "Hey Milly, I think I know what to do."

    Milly looked at her blankly.

    She opened her bag and took out the neuron nebulizer.

    "You can't use that," Milly said.


    Jill was tiring. The security guards were relentless and now they we're attacking her in groups, trying to blindside her.

    So is the above completely bad for a reader? The POV changes are consistent throughout the book, though not often and are usually per chapter.


    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  2. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

    Nov 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Using 3 * is a nice way to clearly establish different POV but if you are doing it this quickly or frequently it becomes very jarring. It makes this look more like a script or screenplay than book.

    If you need these different POV then you can use third person omnicence(probably spelled that last word wrong.) Which is more like a movie. The POV becomes more an invisible camera seeing what ever it needs. Which can work. It is generally ill-advised as you lose the personal connection which is a books strength.

    Another way to fix this. Is to give the opinions of the other characters as speculation. Which you almost did. Jenny notices Bob turn his attention towards Maximus. So why do you need Bob's POV? Bob comments on why, but if they are a team why can't Jenny speculate on why? Like.

    Jenny watched from a distance as Bob and Jill took on most of the security guards, though Bob had now turned his attention to the brute Maximus; he was probably worried about Jill's failing health.

    Looking it more closely. Jenny is the villain isn't she? lol I guess you may not want to stay in her head. lol.

    Another note. Less is more. While it may be nice to give the reader all the details you imagine. Sometimes it is more useful to let the reader imagine why something is going on. So if you wanted to play this more one POV from Bob's POV. You could have him notice Jenny watching him and speculate on why. Because it is speculation, an audience may doubt how true it is. Which keeps them thinking in a good way. I think.
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Here is an example of 'head hopping' that I had done between 2 of my three MCs in my first novel (still sitting in the slush pile at a couple of different publishers) in first POV. Hope it helps in some capacity.:

    Once back in the corridor, I dismiss the petty officer. Sending him off with a salute, I return to my scheduled events for the night. Seeing the young surgical tech trying to chat up the Mother Confessor, as they waited for me.
    “Ladies, shall we”, I ask the two gesturing them into the abattoir. “I should like to go into the transport ship, for a bit of privacy. We have some things to discuss about this business before proceeding” , I follow up, allowing the females to enter before me.
    The young tech lets out a small gasp as she spots the restrained man in the room.
    “Ignore him my dear, we have more important affairs to tend to” , I gently try to distract her from the gravity of the environment. Limping behind them as we cross the far end of the bay to the ship resting half in darkness.
    Accessing the main hatch, I gesture them to follow me inside. Leading them to the rear of the vessel where the trauma station is, ready to have my leg patched up. Sitting on the ceramic table as the surgical tech sets up the facility for making my repair.

    Sitting with crossed legs in the silence, watching the senior officer and the tech for a long moment.
    “What is your interest in that Terran man” , I break the uncomfortable silence that built up.
    “He has knowledge on a particular piece of equipment. To be more precise, he knows what the implications of this equipment are. Further more he may have some intel on what the Confederation is plotting. Better to get the beginning of the story before making our next move in this chess match” , the Ober-Commander replies as the tech quietly takes his vitals.
    A part of what he wants to know from the Confederation soldier has something to do with that large war machine they acquired back on my home planet. Interesting enough in itself, but I am more entertained in finding out what the Confederation is preparing to impose.
    “I see”, I flatly respond, “I too would like something in return for doing this.” I observe him considering my proposal.

    Taking a minute to think as to what this intriguing creature is playing at.
    “Where is your injury, sir” , the friendly tech asks me. Sliding off the table, I start to unbuckle my belt, keeping my focus trained on the Mother Confessor. Unbuttoning my fatigue pants, and lowering them to my knees. I retake my seat on the cold ceramic slab. Peering down at my wound, it was more than a scratch. I suppose being shot so many times, it was my negligent reaction to the affliction. The tech placing a drape over my thigh, mops up the blood with a sponge.
    “What is it that you should like in return for your service tonight” , I ask the pale skinned interrogator, waiving my rejection to the local anesthetic offered by the tech. Her slit pupils looking up from her task, quizzical of my resistance in receiving the pain killer.

    Getting down to my trade with the Ober-Commander, watching as the surgical tech puts on protective gloves. Taking a moment to collect my thoughts, as the sound of metal instruments being placed on a tray cut the silence.
    “I would like to be trained as a soldier, so that I too can be apart of crippling the Terran scourge”, I assert to the Commander, as I witness the tactile incision being made in his flesh. Fascinated in watching the tech as she works. Sliding a pair of medium forceps into the enlarged laceration. Releasing a low growl as the metal enters the flesh. The minutes pass, as the tech focuses on her delicate work.

    Gripping the sides of the table as the tech invades my bullet wound, working to dig out the composite ballistic from my thigh.
    Clucking her tongue she says, “Luckily it missed your femoral, but not by much” , as she explores further into the hole,” Ah here it is.”
    A bit of elation in her voice, I feel her connect with the bullet. Gritting my teeth, feeling the metal spreading inside my mutilated muscle tissue. The tech starts to extract the ballistic, feeling the reluctant projectile being teased from the tissue.
    “There we are now” , she softly exclaims, as I see the back of the round in the bright focused light. It exits with that familiar sickening sucking sound. Its final quiet cry of defiance. I watch as she places the bullet into a cleaning solution. She then sets about cleaning the inside of the now cleared hole.
    Turning my attention back to the request of the interrogator, as I feel the beginning of suturing to finish off my patching.
    “I will see what I can do, are you sure that is what you want” ,I offer my acceptance with the others request.

    I nod my assurance in his acceptance of my proposal. His procedure finished, he drops back to his feet and redresses his legs. The tech removes her gloves and disposes of them and the used sponges drenched in blood. Standing up from my own seat, I cross over to the senior officer as he finishes buckling his belt. Extending my hand to finalize our agreement, to the sound of the surgical tech packs up her things. Taking my slender hand in his calloused grip, the transaction is completed.
  4. Bryan Romer

    Bryan Romer Contributor Contributor

    Jan 26, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I write almost exclusively in third party omniscient, and I change POV all the time. It is not "sacrilege" and is quite often used. The only problem is that most new writers have difficulty handling the changes in POV in a controlled and flowing manner.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice