Monthly Archives: March 2010

Point of View

One of the most common problems I encounter in manuscripts these days is head-hopping. If you’re not sure what this means, it’s when an author changes from one point of view to another within the same scene. Quite frankly, I’m not sure if this is just another name for third person omniscient. Can anyone enlighten me? 

I know from the courses, lectures and talks I’ve attended and the books I’ve read on the subject that head-hopping is considered a big bug-bear with publishers at the moment, but for the life of me I can’t really see much difference between this and third person omniscient.

Third person omniscient was used quite a lot prior to 2000 and I’ve even found it in a number of more recent books written by famous authors, most notably, James Patterson, the crime writer.

Recently a friend showed me a list of the most frequently borrowed books in our libraries and a book by James Patterson not only headed the list but his books also featured many times down the list of about fifteen, hence the reason for me reading his London Bridges at the moment. What struck me immediately was that he uses third person omniscient for many of his scenes, then switches to first person for the Alex Cross sections. It’s an interesting method, and I couldn’t help wondering whether, if he wasn’t already a bestselling author, he’d be asked to change the omniscient third person sections to one character’s point of view?

I’d love to know what you think, but in the meantime my advice would be to stick to one character’s point of view per chapter or per scene.

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Writing Tip from best-selling author, Katherine Howell

I listened to a talk by Katherine Howell at the Elanora library on the Gold Coast recently and she gave us valuable insight into her writing methods and her path to becoming a published author. Katherine’s book Cold Justice, was launched in February this year, and if her previous books (Frantic and The Darkest Hour) are anything to go by it will be an adrenaline-charged journey from its pacy beginning to its equally racy end.

Katherine left us with a valuable tip:

To increase suspense, have a likeable main character and an uncertain outcome.

Katherine’s books are available on Amazon:



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Artist: Robyn Olsen

Robyn Olsen’s work is on display at the Logan Art Gallery at present and it’s a sight to behold. Robyn has been painting for many years and has certainly perfected her craft. She specialises in North Stradbroke landscapes and is now moving on to capturing the essence of the skyscapes as well. What impressed me most was her vibrant use of colour. They fairly jump out at you as you enter the gallery and then draw you into the depths of the forests to a world you won’t want to leave.

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