Most often, a novel is told from the viewpoint of one or two characters, although occasionally there may be more. If you’re switching between characters, you’ll have some hard decisions to make; i.e. when should you switch, how often should you switch, how long should you remain in a character’s viewpoint before switching to another, etc.
A common example of a genre the uses more than one character viewpoint is the romance novel, which often contains scenes from the hero’s viewpoint as well as the heroine’s. And actually, that’s where I’m having a little trouble.
Within in my YA novels, I never have a problem with changing character viewpoints. I almost never do it, and when I do, it’s a short scene or two, scattered sparsely throughout the novel. But romance novels are different. I love to be in the hero’s head as well, seeing how he feels about the heroine, how he thinks about her, imagines her, as they fall in love.
Because of this, I tend to change viewpoint too often, committing the deadly sin of “head-hopping.” This, of course makes tons of work for me when I have to edit, making sure I stay firmly with one character or the other for the entire scene.
But here’s my pet peeve; I feel like it’s okay to change viewpoints at the start of a new scene, but I know most editors require only one viewpoint per chapter. So what do you think? Do you mind if an author changes viewpoint at the start of a new scene? Or would you rather each viewpoint be a contained chapter, even if it’s a very short one? Let me know what you think!