Tag Archives: Writing

“Head Jumping” in Fiction

I developed much of what I know on writing from the rather traditional school of fiction. Recently, I began noticing that some of those tried-and-true methods aren’t necessarily being practiced today. Primarily, it was always stressed that you should limit your character perspectives to around 1 or 2 per chapter. This means you write from one character’s mind and remain there throughout the passage. Perhaps, with a definite break in the text, you can “jump” into the mind of another character, but always with clarity and concern to the reader.

I recently came across a number of contemporary fiction novels that do not follow this. In several, it was done tactfully and with consideration to the reader, for example there was a clear break of text before the author “jumped” from one character to another. I may being using that method myself as it is doesn’t throw the reading process whatsoever.

However, one thing that did bother me was another author’s carelessness with it. There was no visible separation between the “jumping.” For several pages, it was through the eyes of one character and suddenly there were two sentences from someone else, then back to the original. That killed the reading momentum for me. It was as if someone slammed on the brakes and the story came to a halt.

Don’t do that.

However, it is nice to see that the process changing as it really does open up creative freedom for the author.


All I Need to Know About Writing… I Learn from the X-Files? Part 2

As promised, here’s the next installment on tips, tricks and tidbits writers can glean from the hit television series, “The X-Files.”

  • No Theory is, “Out There.” It’s true. With the proper research and approach, you can make your story both believable and plausible.
  • Your Villains Aren’t Always Villains.Always remember your bad guys are humans. Humans have good and bad sides. In the earlier seasons, the character of, “Skinner,” on the show was indeed portrayed in a villainous light. However, this same individual became an invaluable ally later on. Your villains should have depth, reason and logic, methods to their madness.
  • No, It’s Not About Me. Beware of focusing too much of your content around a single individual, unless you intend on them becoming the main character. No, Mulder, it’s not solely your work. Many fans complained that the latter seasons of the show focused entirely too much on Mulder and not enough on the very substance that made the show popular, mutual work from interesting contributors.
  • Explore the World. Don’t limit your fiction to what is popular or trendy. Don’t make continual references to popular culture or politics. Not only does it date your novel (in a bad way), you will likely offend someone who paid hard-earned money to buy your book. NEVER, NEVER EVER insult your reader. Ever.

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