I'm editing yet another manuscript where the author's point of view hops all over the place and I'm perplexed. Why is this happening?
Is there any way I can help writers understand this concept or learn this technique? What do you need to know? What don't you understand?
Because I'm getting cranky, people. Really, really cranky. To the point where, if I see even a shade of headhopping, I'm going to start rejecting manuscripts without a second thought. I don't want to do that, though. I'd really rather see if I can teach what needs to be taught and help writers--especially new writers--get published. I'm tired of trying to teach and edit at the same time. It's distracting me from the other things, like plot holes and grammar mistakes.
My attitude is becoming; "if you think you're advanced enough to be published, you'd better have a good understanding of point of view. Your homework should be done. You should be well-learned in your craft already. If you're not, go back to work until you get it. I'm here to edit your manuscript, not do a seminar for you." Grrr. (I should change back to Lighthearted Writer, Darkhearted Editor. Seriously. Grumble.)
But I don't like that attitude. I'm a teacher at heart and I want to help. Please, my few but wonderful readers, send your writer friends here and tell them to leave their questions about point of view in the comments, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org if they find they can't access the comment feature. Tell them all questions are good questions (as long as they pertain to the subject, of course). Tell me: What don't you understand? What do you need to know? Why don't you understand why you can't see one scene in multiple points of view?
The thing is, I remember being a new writer and joining a critique group.When they told me I needed to learn point of view, I went to the library (this was in the days before Google) and looked for books about it. I found one. And it didn't help. Instead, my patient crit partners taught me point of view.
It's a strange thing, really. It's so difficult to understand until that lightbulb moment, yet so simple once you get it. So--how can I help you turn on your lightbulb?