More on “Third Person Omnisicient Point of View” (OPOV) Narration

Many fiction writers create scenes that are somewhat unclear. I’ve read Hugo/Nebula winners works that do—regardless of POV—and that’s bad (unless “trippiness” is expressly the point of the scene, but I digress).

Plus, since third person omniscient point of view involves the changing of POV characters within a scene, (the consensus is) it is more difficult to do without making it confusing. This can all be stipulated.

However, just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t make it impossible or, indeed, even undesirable. There are stories best told in that fashion. And, frankly, when it is done well, it is powerful.

This is all to say: to my ears, when writers scold other writers en toto, for ever attempting to use OPOV (often deriding it as “head-hopping”), it sounds more than a little bit hysterical. Sort of like a checkers player decrying playing chess as “cheat-moving.”

Reviewing and Doing: More Three-Chapter Reviews (“Hidden Gem” Edition)

Welcome to my third set of THREE-CHAPTER REVIEWS, where I hope to answer that eternal question: “Should I keep reading this or not?” For an explanation of why I’m doing reviews of only three-chapters, refer to my previous post here.

In this episode, I will be reviewing the first three chapters of Near-Life Experience by Emma G. Rose, Eight God Engine by O. Josephs, and Girl Malfunctioned by Dustin Holloway. All three of these are self-published. All three are debut novels. Two of them were debut novels published last year—in other words, my cohort—while one (Emma Rose’s) was from the year before. Although, I would maintain, taking the pandemic into consideration, it’s all of a piece.

Continue reading “Reviewing and Doing: More Three-Chapter Reviews (“Hidden Gem” Edition)”

By The Way: Schizophrenia, What IS It?

Partially because I grew up in a birth family ravaged by the disease, I wrote a fantasy novel where I wanted the main character to have schizophrenia. This was in order to emphasize and reverberate the personal drama of the person and their family dealing with it against the dramatic tension of the plot. Making the internal stakes match the external ones.

More importantly, I wanted to portray that illness accurately and respectfully. People sometimes ask me what I mean by “accurately”. To answer that: Here* is a lecture that covers what schizophrenia is (and what it isn’t, which is far more prevalent in most shows/books).

Along these lines, I was interviewed by author Emma G. Rose, on her podcast, to talk about this very topic: Mental Health Tropes in Writing (although, the official title of the episode is Writing Mental Health Tropes, which inadvertently seems to signal approval. Please don’t be misled. In my opinion, most mental health tropes are neither good story-telling nor are they especially helpful to society at large).

Stay Safe,

*- 23:00 to 59:00 of the video is “Schizophrenia 101”; whereas, after that , his lecture
veers into solid biology, with a focus on bio-chemistry.