Head Hopping – It’s not about beer

When I first heard the phrase ‘head hopping,’ I’ll admit, I had no idea what it meant. To me, head hopping was hearing both (or all) of the characters’ inner thoughts in a scene, not necessarily what they were seeing or even feeling to a certain extent. Thing is, I’m not wrong but I’m also not right.

According to many, many articles and blog posts I’ve read, there is no hard and fast rule, only the elusive ‘guideline.’ Some famous novelists head-hop all over the place. Some are a bit, um, vehement about not doing it.

The Editor’s Blog says: ‘Head-hopping is what happens to the reader when a writer suddenly changes the viewpoint of a character or POV. Switching from one viewpoint character to another, experiencing the mind and heart of one character for a moment only to be forced to switch focus to another character a paragraph or two later, is disconcerting.’

When I read Randy Ingermanson’s blog on the subject, I became even more confused.

“Randy sez:  Let’s define terms. “Head-hopping” is the practice of switching point-of-view characters within a single scene. This is not the same as the omniscient point-of-view, which would allow your narrator to know things that none of the characters know.”

Then the points being made by Randy were eclipsed by what was being said in the comments, specifically:

“If it’s about a person, don’t head hop, if it’s about the relationship or bigger picture, head hop.”

And then:

“Skilled writers don’t need it (head hopping) to convey the other person’s emotions through showing.”

I then found Ciara Ballintyne‘s post on the subject, and this is probably the clearest explanation, along with a great flowchart:

  • First – I gave a small shrug. That was of no matter at the moment.
  • Third – Isaiah gave a small shrug. That is of no matter at the moment.
  • Omniscient – Isaiah gave a small shrug. He thought it was of no matter at the moment

Image result for head hopping

And that’s when my brain exploded.

What say you WordPress?

 

‘Never apologize for your passion’

 

“Never apologize for your passion, Loren.”  I wrote this line for Graham, in response to Loren apologizing for her tendency to over-explain her sport, like I do.

Never apologize for your passion, whatever it is.

As I write this, I am currently hip deep in editing #WheelerNovel for the um, third time… however, it hasn’t been my own pathetic editing skills that have suggested the changes.  It was because of two people who came within my sphere.

The first, Brian, JB (whatever), is an inspiring triathlete. He also possesses a creative mind and sense of humor that even when he nitpicks, he does it in a way that I laugh first. His excitement about reading the story of pro cyclist, Loren Mackenzie has reignited my mind.

The second, Brenda at @storyperfected, challenged me. She pushed me to own my writing style. I’m grateful to her for that, and while we are no longer working together, her push to the first cut has fanned the spark of my creativity. The spirit of her editing whispers in my ear: “Who’s POV is that?” It’s MINE dammit!

The changes, specifically within the first few chapters, has (I hope) honed what was deemed ‘fan fiction’ and romance novelesque into a story that wholly steps into women’s fiction with a romantic bent. Still the smattering of Shakespeare to endear the lovers, the racing is even more exciting, and the drama has ticked up a notch or two.

The tale is fully about Loren and her challenges as a cycling team leader; but also, her spiral into the darkness of her mind. How someone who believes they are broken can open their eyes to find kindred spirits waiting for them, in the outstretched hand of an anam cara, and the embrace of a lover.

I’m not done, but the cutting and rewriting have become easier now that I am not so emotionally entangled with my Muse. I needed the slap in the face only the first bloody kill of a darling can bring. Damn you for being so real, Pretend English Boyfriend! 

Follow me on WordPress or on Twitter (@sarazalesky) for updates on my posting of the revised First Chapter, when Wheeler might be back on Kindle and possibly, when and where I could be leading an indoor cycling class based on the final race in my book: the World Championship Time Trial held in Richmond, VA.

Don’t be afraid of your passion. 

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P.S. Wanna be a Beta Reader?

A Cyclist’s Review of #WheelerNovel

“First you shave your legs, and now you’re reading romantic fiction? What has happened to you?” My fiancée politely asks. “It’s about cycling really, the romance bit is just… erm a bit of it” I protest. I’m reading Wheeler, a fictitious tale about an elite female cyclist’s racing season. Or more accurately it’s about her […]

via Book Review – Wheeler by Sara Butler Zalesky — anothercyclist

Thank you so much James!

I also want to point out that #WheelerNovel is undergoing some major remodeling to focus more on the women’s fiction/suspense while keeping the romance aspect. Please check back to see when the novel will be re-released, hopefully toward the end of Spring, early Summer, 2017.

 

Anywhere But Here @Safetysuit #Soundtrackoflife

“Anywhere But Here”
Safetysuit

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding
Of a love that will never be or maybe be
Everything that I never thought could happen or ever come to pass and I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed, cause you areBeautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this a natural feeling or is it just me bleeding
All my thoughts and dreams in hope that you will be with me or
Is this a moment to remember or just a cold day in December, I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed cause you are

Beautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding of a love that will never be for you and me
Cause you are

You’re beautiful inside, you’re so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

@OneRepublic ‘All We Are’

“All We Are”
One Republic

I tried to paint you a picture, the colors were all wrong
Black and white didn’t fit you and all along,
You were shaded with patience, your strokes of everything
That I need just to make it, but I can see that…Lord knows I failed you time and again,
But you and me are alright

We won’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need, all we need, a lover’s alibi, yeah.

I walked a minute in your shoes –
They never would’ve fit
I figured there’s nothing to lose.
I need to get
Some perspective on these words before I write them down
You’re an island and my ship has run aground.

Lord knows I’ll fail you time and again,
But you and me are alright, yeah.

We won’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need all we need, a lover’s alibi

Every single day that I can breathe,
You change my philosophy
I’m never gonna let you pass me by

So don’t say your goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change.

So don’t say your goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change.

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need, all we need, a lover’s alibi.

So don’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better…
We won’t break, we won’t die

 

#Music Makes Me Move – Getting your #ClimbingLegs

I’ve been writing posts for the Indoor Cycling Association since last fall and I’ve had a great time doing it. Most have been for their ‘Friday Favorites,’ which is music suggestions for your workouts.

Artist: Russian Circles  (for info on the Chicago, IL based band)
Song: Station
Album: Station
Time: 8:43
Genre: alternative
BPM: variable
Category: climb
Available on: iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify

I tend to use music with a hard-driving beat and big, dramatic sound for my workouts. Unlike most instructors, I do not use bpm/rpm to gauge whether a song is good for climbing or flats. I go by how it feels. Is it angry and dark, edgy or do I feel like my legs are already pumping?  My tastes in music also run along the obscure and it is rare that you hear me use a Top 40 or popular song in my class, that is unless I’m forced. 

This Russian Circles track delivers on all counts. ‘Station’ is chock-full of fierce guitar riffs and rocking drums. What I especially love is that there are several changes in tempo throughout this song to challenge you. Tempo changes like this are rare (which is why Russian Circles is so great!). Every time you ride to this track you might do it a different way. 

Because of the tempo changes, you can include big-gear surging flats, a tough climb as the bpm slows down, attacks, respites, and a big standing effort at the end (with just enough left over at the finish to recover a bit before moving on).

How I’ve used it:

Climb at tempo at the beginning until 2:50 when the energy eases up. Then at 4:00 the aggressive guitars pick back up—bringing you back to a hard climb. At 5:20 the ambiance changes completely. It’s not as aggressive, but the tempo picks up, so you can surge harder here against the same gear, or maintain the intensity and reduce the gear at the higher cadence as if the road levels off a bit. This continues for 2 minutes, until just after 8:00 when the beat fades away—perfect for rolling over the top of this varied climb out of the saddle.

For another example, see my ride profile called The Grimpeur, a stage race simulation that follows American Mara Abbott up the famed #Mortirolo in stage 5 of the 2016 #GiroRosa, available here