A Thought About OPOV

I dunno…too harsh? Naw!

Anyone in the #writingcommunity who believes that Omniscient POV within scenes—sans any commentary from the invisible narrator—(also known as, gasp, ‘head-hopping’) is inherently *bad* or archaic, should read just about any chapter (including the opening) of the novel Her Fearful Symmetry from Audrey Niffenegger (2009).*

And then, respectfully, they should STFU about it.

Per Brandon Sanderson:

“The last, and this is the hardest to do, but it is brilliant when it works. This is the Dune style. True, power omniscient, which is where you come in and say, ‘I’m going to withhold no information from the reader. I am going to show everyone’s thoughts. I am going to head hop.’ So in a given paragraph, you are limited. That’s it. Next paragraph could be another character’s viewpoint and thoughts, and jumping from person to person to person in a given scene.” (emphasis added)

Best, _Mark

*-And yes, I’m aware that Ms. Niffenegger herself describes her POV as ‘Close Third-Person, with shifting characaters’. But, that is playing semantics, in my opinion. Anytime you are telling a story by going inside the head of multiple characters, that is an omniscient narrator, since only an omniscient narrator could do that.

Consider, GRRM’s Song of Fire and Ice, which has THIRTY-TWO different point-of-view characters through five novels. Do we still call that “limited third-person”? I call bullshit.

For the record, Sanderson draws the line at changing viewpoints within a scene as being the demarcation point. If you are doing that, you are in omniscient. If it is one viewpoint per scene, it’s third-person limited.

As Second Acts Go…

Well, phase two of my life is complete. To wit:

i) (Most importantly) Both of my sons are now grown adults, firmly established in initial careers and thriving on their own.
ii) I’ve wrapped up all of my TO-DOs from my previous professional career(s); and
iii) I have also finished the initial output of my creative writing practice. In just two-and-a-half years I’ve created an indie publishing company and released two works, an epic novel and a comic.

My anthology comic, “Wondrous Stories Comics” is available on Drive-Thru Comics (https://tinyurl.com/yhj2nep6), free for a limited time. If you like silver/bronze age collections of tales of the weird and fantastical, it might scratch that itch. I worked with nearly a dozen artists, who were from 5 different countries on three different continents. And one of its stories introduces my neurodivergent hero, THE PRECEPT. Here’s what one of the most respected writers in the comic industry says about my creation.

“”Not a dream, not what you’re expecting, but what you need.
The Precept is the start of something special by Mark Harbinger. Get in on it now.”
— Ron Marz (DC/Marvel/Image/Dark Horse)

The Precept

The Precept’s origin is told in my epic ‪#Fantasy novel, The Be(k)nighted—for sale wherever paperbacks are sold (NOTE: Seattle Book Review, Online Book Club, and Portland Book Review gave it 13 of 14 stars, combined).

Continue reading “As Second Acts Go…”