How many heads does it take to make a story?
For most of mine, it takes, well, just one. For a boatload of other stories out there, it takes way more than that.
I’ve just started into a new wip with some head hopping and I’m having some difficulty. It’s really tough when I’m so accustomed to one voice, one perspective.
Head hopping, I think, is harder to do well in first person (and I've mostly written in 1st). The best books I’ve seen this done in are ones that make the transition at chapter breaks. Each chapter having different narrator.
Susane Colasanti’s When It Happens is a primo example. As is Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver.
In third person is where I see the head hopping ALL THE TIME. Mostly, it’s not a big deal. The transitions come with scene breaks and the chapters are built in a way that the head hopping makes sense.
Cassandra Clare in The Mortal Instruments series, is a good example. So is Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, with 3-4 narrators depending on the story is also great.
What gets me is the stories with head hopping with no defined break. When I don’t know who’s thinking what and have to reread whole sections just to figure out who the narrator is. That bugs. So as you can see, I’m a bit stressed about this in addition to worrying about Perspectives and Tenses) for my new project. Maybe I should just quit worrying and write first, but I’m a chronic worrier.
Have you guys done some head hopping? How’s it working out? Any tossing the computer out the window going on? I’m nearing that point.