When I first started writing, I was terrible at keeping true to one character’s point of view at a time. I was a head hopper. Yes, I can admit that—now I feel so much better.
All kidding aside, my lack of discipline when it came to POV totally ruined my efforts in creating a smooth flowing story. After working with some wonderful editors, I realized my problem. It was not easy to change my bad habits, but once I actually saw what I was doing wrong, it definitely made a difference.
There are so many facets of writing well with regard to POV and as long as you start at the beginning, you’ll keep getting better at it. Don’t allow discouragement to take over. Rome wasn’t built in a day; although as my Italian husband always likes to joke, it sure fell in a day. Back to POV…it takes time to develop good writing habits. I can say this because I’ve been down the road to recovery when it comes to changing bad habits.
I’m currently working on the edits for my fourth book. I still have to remind myself that I need to get into character, just like an actor when acting out a scene. Get into your character’s head and see what she or he is seeing. Hear what she’s hearing. Smell what he smells. Touch what she touches. Feel what he feels. That is the only way that you’re going to get it right.
You need to jump into the scene with your character and almost imagine that you are that character—at least for the moment, until you finish that scene and get into the head of another character. Don’t just tell us what this character is feeling, but show the readers. Telling won’t draw the readers fully into the story. Showing will fully engage them and they’ll love your story.
What is the character thinking? What’s on his or her mind? The readers want to know that. Here’s an example: