A Study in Omniscient POV, Part 1

From my friend Linda Yezak

Linda W. Yezak

Billy CoffeyBilly did something in his new release that isn’t done much these days: he used the omniscient point of view. I haven’t seen it in modern works in so long that I had to study it again to find out what marks it as different from head hopping. I came to the conclusion that the only difference is intent.

Tom Clancy was the king of head hoppers, but since he was also the king of international/political suspense and intrigue, he could get away with it. Omniscient POV was once common in this genre, but latter authors, like Vince Flynn and Brad Meltzer, opted for distant third person instead. They tended to stay in one head throughout the scene/story, but focus remained more on actions than thought/emotion/intention, though they could reveal their POV character’s internal processes. Clancy revealed all the characters’ thoughts, emotions, or intentions within the same scene–sometimes the same paragraph.

Francine Rivers…

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