POV Shifts. We're encouraged to avoid them like the plague. Head-hopping is one of those things (and I totally subscribe to this notion) that gives the general reader a sense of disquiet. They're not sure why, but they really don't like this particular book.
But there are transitions that, artfully implemented, can make the shift flawless.
I think the first instruction I've seen for this notion was from Vicki Hinze, and I couldn't tell you what she said. I just want to give her credit for pushing me to consider an alternative.
Tonight I read a downloaded sample of award-winning author Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead. It's received flattering comments on DorothyL and 4MA (two online groups of mystery lovers), and I decided to check it out.
Ms. Penny's POV shift threw me at first because of my training. When I went back to see what happened, I saw a master at work. I described it to my critique partners as taking her POV character and walking around a corner, where the next one takes over flawlessly. If you can download a sample of her book, I highly recommend it as a study piece.
How long does it take? I just read a guest post on agent Nathan Bransford's blog about two siblings having a contest as to who could get 100 rejections first. This from agents, not publishers. Can I just say . . . ugh?
I've re-begun the query process for a complete my critique partners tell me is worthy. I think I have about six rejections so far, and at some level, I've felt every one of them. The little girl in me who wants to please everyone is having a difficult time making room for the big girl in me who is determined to carve out a path in this jungle. There are poisonous plants all around, teeth-baring tigers, and vines so thick I have to hack my way through. But still. This is where my heart is.
CR: The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan in hardback.
It's all better with friends.