D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Writer Wednesday: Head Hopping

I get tons of e-mails from authors and writers about head hopping. What is it? How do I spot it? How do I avoid it but still convey what I need to? I thought I'd share this with everyone in hopes you will avoid it in your work in the future.

Head Hopping - When you depart from the POV (point of view) from one character to the next, or to omniscient POV.

So, if the story is in first person perspective, we should always be in first person perspective. I've yet to meet a publishing company that allows first to third in the same story.

If the story is in third person perspective, we can tell the story from the main character's view, but here's the trick: Most publishing companies prefer one POV per chapter or section. You can't switch to Don's perspective in the middle of a paragraph when we've been in Ralph's.

Now how do we spot it? That's the real crux of the issue here, isn't it?

Linda tossed her long, black hair. <--Can you spot the POV departure here? I'll give you a hint; "Long, black". Here's the explanation: On a general basis we don't think about our own eye color, hair length/color/texture. We can't see our expressions. When we are in a character's head, we can only see what they can see. Only feel what they can feel.

The best way to avoid head hopping is to use the five sense. Can your character see/hear/smell/taste/feel it? If not, then it's probably head hopping.

But, but, how do I explain what my character looks like then?!

One rule of thumb, Do NOT use the "mirror trick". That's the oldest trick in the book and editors/reader roll their eyes when it's pulled. What's the mirror trick? When you have your character look in a mirror and think about their own looks. LAME! (Note: I've been guilty of this trick once before. That scene is now gone!)

Now, what you can do? For third person perspective, you can have another main character think about or describe the looks of character one when it is their chapter/scene. Like: Chuck let his gaze travel down the length of Julia with slow assessment. Fiery curls crowned her head, green eyes glared at him, and pale hands rested on curvy hips. Oh yes, this woman was going to be the epitome of a hellcat.

First person stories are a little harder. Dialogue! In this, dialogue is your friend. Example: Jane lifted my bangs and wrinkled her nose. "You have such pretty blue eyes. Why do you hide them?" she asked. <--See, now we know the main characters eyes are blue AND she has bangs that fall over her face.

And that concludes my lesson for today. Clear as mud? Excellent. Any questions?~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, December 26, 2011

Must Read Monday: A Facebook Affair

My night job is as an author, but I also have a *le gasp!* day job. Except, I actually like mine. Okay, in all honesty? I love my day job. I'm an editor. Yep that's right, I'm one of those evil people that you submit your manuscript to and, when I'm done, you cry in the corner. My author's curse my name and dread my e-mails...

But you know what? That's just me putting my evil nature to good. Because, in the end, after the bleeding edits and the author/editor arguments (Yes, you DO have to open that door and show us the sex!), something worth it all is left, waiting for its big release day. I'm so proud of my authors. The end result is: Must Read Mondays.

When Kelly and Brandon rediscover each other on Facebook after twenty years apart, it sparks an attraction that even distance can't extinguish. Do they truly have a future, or is this just a Facebook affair?

Kelly Littleton takes the plunge and finally joins Facebook to socialize without the limits that her hearing impairment gives her. On a whim, she looks up a childhood friend. In sending him that first message, she ignites the memories of a crush from twenty years ago. But will they turn into the flames of romance, or end up the ashes of a Facebook affair?

Brandon Hopkins has a lot on his plate. A recent divorce, a pregnant sister, and now, he realizes he's in love with a woman who lives states away. Can he overcome the boundaries of internet romance to make this desire turn into something real, or will adversity and distance be their undoing?

Points of this book I love? For one I love the fact the relationship sparks off the internet without being from a dating website. My husband and I met online, and no, it wasn't a dating website. So watching their flirtation grow through their messages puts a smile on my face because I remember what it was like.
I also love the fact the heroine is hearing impaired. I once had a reader complain that she wished more hero/ines had to face handicaps and impairment challenges. The reader herself was mute. She felt small and less worthy when she read about all these perfect characters. I e-mailed her to let her know about this book and she was thrilled! I recommend this book to anyone who has a friend or family member who is hearing impaired. My father is deaf and, growing up, I never thought much of it. To me, it was normal lifestyle. But reading this book and what the heroine goes through really puts things in to perspective the struggles he must face every day that we take for granted.

This is certainly a Must Read on my list! ~ D. F. Krieger

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Moving Tails

Most of you knew that we bought a house recently and were in the process of moving. Well, at 2:45 a.m., we finally unloaded the last thing from the U-Haul and called it a night. I'm proud to say a majority of our furniture was placed exactly where it needed to be instead of haphazardly in any available space.

But that's not what this blog post is about. This is about how our animals dealt with the move and their mindset.

Xylas, our two-year old Australian Shepard mix went something like this. Car ride = "Oh god, oh god, I'm gonna die! Please, please, please forgive me for whatever I did-Wait, that's my mommy outside the window! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! MOMMY!!!" She was brought in the house, where she sniffed around and followed the person of the moment. I let her in the back yard and I swear her eyes went wide. She promptly sky-rocket through every puddle she could find with tail held high like a flag.

MacBeth, our year and a half old Russian Blue has only one thing to say. "There must be an inner circle of hell dedicated to people who make me move. If there isn't, I plan to create one."

Fathom, our eight-month old Russian Blue was completely different in his approach. Car ride in cage = "Group hug cuddle time!" New house = "Oh wow, did you see the size of this room, mom? Hey, look out the door-there's MORE HOUSE. It goes on foreeeever! Oh crap, I'm lost! Moooom, moooom, moooom-Oh, there you are. Hey, I'm going the other direction now."

Calypso - Our six-month old Egyptian Mau mix. Car ride = "Fathom, get off me NOW! I swear I'm going to rip your ears off. No, don't lick me. I don't wanna be washed. I'm NOT going to calm down." New House = "Where's my dad? Okay, dad is here. I found a closet that smells of dad's things. Wait, Fathom, where are you going?! Wait for me!!!"

Faye- Our five-month old Siamese mix. Car ride = "Find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place." New house = "Mom, you have to hold me NOW. You are my happy place and I'm scared. Hold me, hold me, hold me! Fine, you can't pick me up? Then I shall climb you and if you bleed from this, remember you could have solved this by simply picking me up."

Tavaresh - Our six month old Martial Ferret had quite an amusing take on the whole ordeal. Car ride = *Insert the Geico "Wheeeee!" pig here* She was literally dooking (a chittering noise ferrets make when happy) as we went over bumps and around curves. New House = Ferret sleep because she wore herself out on the car ride.

Do you have any funny moving stories about your pets? Or even any funny pet stories you want to tell period? Please, share them with me. ~ D. F. Krieger

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Disembodied Body Parts

Who the hell made this rule? Please, someone point it out to me and, while you are at it, point me in the direction of whoever made it so my foot can kick their rear-end! For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you an example.

She leaned against him, seeking comfort, and smiled when his arms wrapped around her. <--See that? That is considered wrong.

She leaned against him, seeking comfort, and smiled when he wrapped his arms around her. <--That is suppose to be right.

Personally, I hate this "Disembodied Body Parts" rule. I hate enforcing it as an editor and I hate abiding by it as an author. Now I could see it if say, something like this was written:

His eyes followed her across the room. <--- Yeah, I can see where it sounds like his eyes popped out of his head and floated after her.

His gaze followed her across the room. <--True, much better.

But her hand can't slide down his back? His finger can't trail across her jawline? Really?! Anyone else hate this rule or have a writing rule they hate? ~ D. F. Krieger