Ack! I Just Learned Something Important!

Well, I knew it was coming. I got my first bad review for my book, but you know what? I’m not disappointed. The person was really helpful telling me things that I should work on and things I didn’t even know I should work on. Thank God for Smashwords. I can change things!

Okay, so there were a lot of things that she said that were nit picky and I fixed them in five minutes. I’ve been on the Google and I found out that I am having trouble with Homophones. What’s a Homophone? No, it’s not a pink cell phone that has the hots for another pink cell phone. A Homophone is a word that sounds like the same word but has a different spelling and different meaning, like wench and winch. Sorry guys and gals, I am not an English major. Mom sent me to school for business. I can only go off of what my mid-west high school English teachers told me, or what I look up, and if I don’t know to look it up, well, you know the rest. I will definitely be looking into those Homophones in the future. (P.S. I don’t blame my teachers for this. I was not the best student. OOPS!)
Another thing, and I’m a little embarrassed because I had NO CLUE, is head hopping. I had to surf two or three or ten web pages before I knew what the heck people were talking about, and it is a bit disconcerting for me. I knew that you weren’t supposed to do it, but I really wasn’t sure what it was. I assumed if you were writing omnisciently (red line is telling me it’s not a word) that you knew what everybody was thinking all the time. Not really, if you’re the little gnome riding inside one person’s brain, you apparently are supposed to stay there till the end of the scene just to keep the reader from freaking out. I’m not sure. I’m going to look into this further and see what I can do for my jumping gnome. If anyone has any opinions or a better way to explain this I would appreciate a comment or two.
Happy writing!

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  1. * bflyzone says:

    Soooo, I just learned that some people don’t mind head hopping and that it is okay in romance novels sometimes. Still not sure about all this.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
    • Good morning! You just won a copy of my book, Perfectly Imperfect! Thanks for reading my blog yesterday, and if you email me a physical address I will mail you a copy of the print edition. Send the information to and I’ll drop it in the mail! Have a great day!

      | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  2. * bflyzone says:

    Oh, I was wrong. 3rd person is when you shouldn’t use head hopping. I am using omniscient which is not as popular and some people don’t like, but you are allowed to head hop if you do it right. Maybe I just didn’t do it right. I’ll go back and look at To Love a Beast when I am finished with the wizards. I am in no mood to rewrite my whole book just yet.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  3. * Satis says:

    So here’s a thought: who cares? Grammatical and syntactical issues are one thing, and need to be addressed (you really can’t use the wrong word, or misplace a semi-colon), but writing style is a point of personal preference. I would ask yourself: do YOU enjoy the way you write? I’ve never read a book with this so-called ‘head-hopping’, but it sounds intriguing to me.

    You do also need to bear in mind the target audience; I would imagine the people who wish to read romance novels are not looking for a challenging, mind-bending read. Keeping things simple can be important.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  4. * bflyzone says:

    Apparently I was so excited that I didn’t finish writing out my title. Thanks Satis. That is really good advice. Besides, I shouldn’t let one opinion derail me anyway.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  5. * katepatrick says:

    Head-hopping is something my editor pointed out to me in the edits of my first book. . This is how she explained it: One character can’t know what another character is THINKING (thus the term head-hopping), so you write the sentence like this: Joe BEHAVED AS THOUGH,( APPEARED TO BE, SEEMED TO BE, ETC) he had a fear of commitment. NOT: Joe had a fear of commitment.., because she can’t really know what he’s thinking or feels, only was he SEEMS to be thinking or feeling based on something he says, does, or a look on his face.
    You just have to be careful about it when one character is speaking about another character.
    I hope this helped and didn’t make it worse! It is tricky, but you will get to where you spot it easily when proofing your own work.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  6. When I received the edits back from the publisher on my first novel, head hopping was the worst thing I had to fix. Most everything else was fine. So I had a crash course on what it meant, just as you are now experiencing. Kate explained it pretty well. Basically, if you’re writing a passage from one character’s viewpoint, you aren’t allowed to make any reference to what another person would THINK during that passage. Because, as Kate says, no one really knows what kind of inner dialogue is going through someone else’s mind at any given time. But if you use clarifiers, you can get away with it. Say “as if”, “it seemed like”, “The expression on his face told her”, “Her reaction was easy to interpret” and so forth. Or, just turn it into diaglogue. Let him TELL her what he’s thinking. The editors I have worked with all LOVE dialogue and less narrative. So the more you can put it in quotes, the better. It’s tricky, but this is something that gets much better with practice. My second manuscript came back wtih only 3 instances of the dreaded head-hopping, so I guess I’m learning! You will too. Good luck!

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago
  7. * Opal says:

    I like this website it’s a work of art! Happy to uncover this on google.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 1 month ago

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