Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Head-Hoppers Anonymous

My favourite POV is first person. I know it isn’t supposed to be popular, but I like both reading and writing in the first person. I enjoy being in the MC’s head with the gamut of emotions – fear, love, pain, happiness etc. – somehow it makes the story real for me, and definitely makes the character more alive in my opinion. It also gives the reader the opportunity to ‘be’ the protagonist, and hopefully ‘feel’ whatever he or she is experiencing.

There are a few classic clangers with first person – like how to get your main character’s appearance across. What do a lot of authors do? They make their character look in a mirror and describe their reflection. (Apparently this is one of the clangers.) But who am I to judge? It works ... well it works as long as your main character isn’t a vampire, because everyone knows they don’t cast a shadow, and they don’t have a reflection. Yes, I know it’s folklore, and in fiction the author can bend the folklore to his or her heart’s content – unless you’re me of course, and you’re a stickler for folklore.

In Fledgling, my main character Ellie, and Will, the man in her life, are both vampires. The book is told from her POV, so she can happily describe the hunkiness of him with no problem at all. But how to describe herself? It’s easier than you think, because she can of course remember what she looks like, she knows she isn’t very tall, and she knows she’s very slim because she’s a dancer.


Now, I’m used to people who stare down at me. I’m a little over five-foot-three in height, so believe me, I’m not easily intimidated by tall people.’

‘I froze at his words. I had heard them but I didn’t understand them. I felt more and more as though I were somehow trapped in a horror movie, and destined to be turned into some kind of body suit. Although if memory serves, most of the women in that particular movie were large and as I am a professional dancer, I didn’t think there would be too much of my body to make up a suit. Certainly not one that would fit him anyway. I mentally cursed whoever had made me watch that DVD.’

Gradually a mental picture of Ellie is being built for the reader, without the aid of mirrors! I think to have her describe herself in one paragraph would pull the reader out of the narrative. It’s different to have her describe Will of course, because she’s looking at him, and the reader is seeing him though her eyes.

‘I stared at him, trying to think of a reply. He stared back, his face expressionless. He could have been a waxwork for all the emotion he didn’t show. His pale skin stretched tautly over well-defined cheekbones and a straight, aristocratic nose. Glossy thick black hair, almost long enough to reach his broad shoulders, framed his face, and dark eyebrows frowned above incredible green eyes, which appeared to glow in the dark. The eyelashes framing his eyes would have made him look feminine were it not for the sheer masculinity of his features– eyelashes most women would kill for. But it was his eyes that drew me back to staring at him every time. They weren’t just green; they were like a cat’s eyes. Unblinking. Intrusive. Like a predator. I shivered. His full lips twitched into a slight smile as I stared at him. I decided to carry on pretending I felt brave.’

Will, at some point, admires the vivid blue of her eyes, the colour of her hair, and tells her many times that she’s beautiful, so ... job done!

In Fledgling I decided to go a step further with the POVs, and added journal entries by Will. Getting into his head was a real challenge – and I loved every minute of it. Ellie may be feisty, and the epitome of a modern young woman, but Will is something else – centuries old, Machievellian, arrogant and completely ruthless when he has to be. He doesn’t suffer fools and he isn’t above the odd bit of torture or cold-blooded murder either.

I could also get him to wax lyrical about Ellie when needed. Having two POVs, both in the first person, has been such fun to write, I hope it’s as much fun to read. J

‘Elinor lay like a sleeping angel, and her newly-washed hair fanned out across the pillow, like glorious living flames. Her thick eyelashes, several shades darker than her hair, cast little shadows on her flawless cheeks. God, she is beautiful. Part of me felt shame and sorrow for having wrought this existence on her, but the selfish, ruthless part of me felt only joy that she was here. With me. Had I not turned her, she would be but dust beneath the earth now, and that would have been a travesty.’

Fledgling will be published in Black Rose, on 23rd September – and I’m thrilled beyond belief.

My favourite book ever, is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This is a brilliant example of multiple POVs in one book and it’s oh-so-cleverly done. The story is told by a collection of papers, journals, letters and newspaper articles. The journals are written by Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker, Lucy Westenra, and Dr Seward. There’s a phonograph diary as spoken by Professor Van Helsing, postcards and letters between Mina and Lucy and a press cutting. Everything except the press cutting is told in first person. Obviously a lot of the language is Victorian, which for me only adds to the book’s timeless charm and gothic atmosphere. Even now – many readings of Dracula later – I find it amazing that Stoker successfully got into the heads of both Lucy and Mina; making Lucy a spoilt, rich girl unable to resist flirting with (and stringing along) several eligible men at once, whilst Mina is intelligent, strong-willed and totally loyal to Jonathan. Strong, intelligent women weren’t thought of too highly in that era, which makes me admire Stoker all the more. All of his characters are beautifully drawn and each POV has its own individual voice.

Head-hopping is another matter. I admit it drives me mad. Books from the eighties and nineties (and obviously before) had head-hopping going on all over the place. But I do think the reining in of multiple hopping is a fairly recent thing.

I appreciate it’s tempting when writing in the third person, to hop from character to character and get several different POVs, but why oh why do some authors hop from head to head within the same paragraph? Honestly, it’s more entertaining to write those paragraphs then it ever is to read them. There have been times when I’ve had to go back several pages and re-read them just to find out who the hell is speaking. Changing POV after an obvious break is all right, as long as it is obvious, but it’s so easy to slip into multiple POVs and confuse your reader. I’ve just finished a paranormal romance by a very well-known author that nearly had me running for the hills with all the head-hopping. Confused? Moi? Oh yes.

There’s a popular teen vampire series (no, not Twilight!) which had me tugging out my hair too, when I read the last book in the (very long) series. Each chapter was from a different POV and, to be fair, they were all titled with the character’s name, so the reader knew who was speaking, yet it was still confusing. However, the final chapter – which should have been in the first person as told by the female MC – started in the third person for three paragraphs, then suddenly switched to first person (same character.) I re-read that chapter three times before I convinced myself it had to be a mistake. A mistake missed by the author, the editor and the copy editor. Interesting huh? It would never happen at Black Rose!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Third Person, First Person, Head Hopping

Several writers, many of them New York Times bestselling authors, who have presented at my local chapter meetings told us that romance is best told from third person point of view. In third person, your reader can cast herself as the heroine if you put your story into third person.

For example, in one scene from my TWRP dark angel book, Sacred Guardian, the heroine first encounters the hero after she has taken an accidental overdose in her apartment, with no one around to help her. She can't remember what happened but finds herself in the bathroom, after *ahem* getting rid of the overdose, and "She looked down at the floor to steady herself and saw . . . feet? Raised her gaze higher. Knees, encased in worn khaki. Muscled thighs. An ivory T-shirt stretched across the broad expanse of a man's chest. A face. Her jaw creaked before her mouth dropped open. A man stood there scowling at her, but damn, what a face he had!"

The same scene, written in first person point of view: "I looked at the floor to steady myself . . ." H'mmm. If it were in first point of view, the rest of that portion of the scene could have stood as it is written, except "her" would be "my." This is known as "deep" third person point of view, where the reflections of the character are so into the character that they could be from a first person point of view, yet the reader can cast herself as the heroine.

The advantage of first person point of view is that the author can have a character so vivid that this character can carry a series. Examples of this are Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum. Readers eagerly await new books by these authors so they can spend time with the heroine.

I tried this point of view in a book years ago and entered a contest with the first chapter. I got ratings as low as '1' and as high as '5'. The people who did not like it stated that they hated the character. The people who loved it stated that they loved the character. I didn't know any better so I scrapped the manuscript for a while. Recently, a very big author talked to my chapter and said, "When you get really low ratings and really high ratings for the same manuscript in contests, it means you are getting a passionate response. Keep going."

Oops! I ended up rewriting the hundred pages I'd written into deep third person point of view because I'd written myself into a corner. In first person point of view, you can only know what the main character knows. I missed being able to go into my hero, so I rewrote it. Now I happily go into my hero's point of view and accept my limitations in terms of first person POV.

So. Writing in deep third person point of view has its own limitations in scenes where you have your hero and heroine interacting. I bow to all the gods and goddesses who can successfully zip into one person's point of view and seamlessly into the other point of view without losing the audience.

I can't do it. I just can't. I need that scene break noted by a line of stars or a section break in a manuscript. Usually I give an entire chapter in the hero's point of view, then another chapter to the heroine. When I am reading, I don't really care about point of view. If an author grabs me, that author owns me. If I find I can't put a book down, it does not matter to me if the author goes into the hero, heroine, the heroine's poodle and the hero's mechanic in the same scene, as long as I know whose head I'm in. As for first person, I am delighted to spend time with vivid characters like Sookie Stackhouse.

Do you have a preference concerning point of view? I'd love to hear from you :-)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Point of View by Barbara Edwards

When I started writing I had never heard of POV. What? Is it catching?
Point Of View turned out to be the biggest bugaboo in the bag of writer’s tricks. I spent months trying to get it right. Checking all the things I need to watch out for, for a consistent read made me want to throw up my hands and scream: “I don’t care!”
I finally realized POV wasn’t the most important part of the process. I worked on my plotting, on my characters, conflict and resolution. And ended up with a manuscript titled Another Love.
Rewrites turned out to be the time when I checked POV.
Like Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick said in Casabalanca, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” I realized POV was in the eyes of the beholder.
So the speaker can’t see her own expression or the color of her own eyes, okay. This is fixable. The other important part of POV is deciding whose viewpoint the scene should be in. That is determined by the character most affected by the action. I used this in Ancient Awakening and Ancient Blood to heighten the tension.
POV is another tool to use building a good story.

Contest: I’m giving away an e-book copy of Ancient Blood on June 30 to celebrate. It is available at the Wild Rose Press. Just go to one of my June blog appearances and leave a comment where I’m appearing from June 1- June 30, 2011 or at my blog. Enter often by leaving a comment. The winner will be randomly drawn on June 30, 2011 at midnight.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Benefits and Limitations of First Person POV

I'm very excited to make my first appearance on the Black Rose blog! My debut paranormal, Forever Freed, released a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier to be part of the Black Rose group of amazing authors.

Today, I'd like to add to the discussion on point of view by talking about First Person point of view, which is the POV in Forever Freed.  First person POV is when the narration comes entirely from one character - the main character - and is the most intimate point of view because it allows the reader to get right into the head of the lead character.  I love how it allows the reader to feel the emotions, see the rationale for beliefs and decisions (no matter how skewed or unreliable), and hear the internal dialogue. In addition to intimacy, first person can create an immediacy of thought and action, because you're right there in the moment with the POV character. Done well, first person can also lead the reader to identify with the POV character, to develop a real sympathy for and understanding of him, even when that person acts in ways that aren't good or honest or moral.

Here's an example from Forever Freed, a story about a reclusive, empathic vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her young daughter, then must fight his ancient guilt, bloodlust, lie by omission, and an old vampire rival who threatens everything he holds dear:
Soon, rich yearning tones filled the room. The melancholy of the anniversary hung over me still, and my dire need for sustenance didn’t help. It didn’t take long, therefore, before the image of the smiling blonde girl transformed in my mind’s eye into another girl, with olive skin and chocolate ringlets.
A girl who had once been my whole life.
 A daughter whom I had failed.
In hearing how Lucien Demarco hears the music, in knowing what's going through his head as he plays his violin, you are right there in the midst of his sorrow, guilt, and grief.

Here's another:
The next morning, I emerged from a normally restorative trance - a semi-conscious state that was my only form of rest - agitated and strung out. My body craved more blood, my mind yearned for Samantha’s joy. Jesus, I was just hungry.
One thing was for sure: I had to get out of my head. All night, the most punishing memories had assaulted me. I thought of Lena, my beautiful wife who crossed an ocean at my request, her body rounding with our second child, only to die at the hands of a monster who forced me to watch. I saw the tumble of my little Isabetta’s dark curls sprawled out over a blood-covered blanket. My conscience also pulled in Catherine, my best friend in this dark existence and also my lover for a time.
I had loved all of them. Failed them. Lost them.
         I muttered my aggravation in my mother tongue as I stalked into the bathroom. Setting the shower water just shy of scalding, I stepped in.
Here, the reader knows Lucien's planning something that's wrong (stalking the heroine with the intent to kill), but being inside his head, you also know tragedies that have brought him to this moment, the angst and guilt he feels, and you sense he carries all of this around like an unbearable weight.  First person allows you to manipulate your readers' emotions, even when you're character isn't behaving himself.

This excerpt, from Lucien and Samantha's first official meet, illustrates the idea of the immediacy of first person:
How ironic I’d been stalking her for days and now encountered her out in the open—though the comings and goings of patients, staff, and visitors continued to protect her. I swallowed thickly, acknowledging my rather dire undernourishment. Nearly six weeks had passed since I’d fed on a trio of wolves on the shores of Black Lake north of the city.
 I scoffed. I’d gone this long before without feeding, and now she had me doubting my control as if I were a neophyte. I was used to the clench of hunger in my gut, had forced myself to endure it for much of my existence--I usually didn’t tempt myself by intermingling with humans, though, let alone with one who was so appealing, but I was eager to taste and feel her happiness again.
So I resumed walking. Her feelings intensified within me as I approached. Forty feet, then thirty. By the time I was within ten feet, my mouth was so alive with the rich sweetness of her joy, I was salivating and struggling to keep my fangs retracted.
Her emotions provided such exquisite relief I couldn’t force myself to pass her by. Without a conscious decision, I stopped in front of her, her allure locking me into place as surely as if I were shackled. She looked up and smiled. Her teal eyes settled on me like a caress. In that instant, I needed to be in her presence. I hadn’t intended to, but I was going to have to talk to her now.
“Would you mind if I asked you a question?” I finally asked, working hard to make my voice relaxed, casual—the exact opposite of the tense anticipation that shivered over my skin.
Her brow dropped and her expression became a little guarded, but she smiled. “Sure.” Her eyes widened and her heart rate increased as she took me in.
I walked over to the bench and hesitated as my nineteenth-century manners resurfaced. “May I?”
She nodded uncertainly, her pose less relaxed.
So close to her for the first time, it took everything I had not to reach out and cup my hand behind her neck and pull her into me, particularly as her pounding heart pumped blood into a blush that spread from her face down her throat.
         Touch her. Feel her. Taste her. I shook the urges away.
The reader is right there in the moment with Lucien, experiencing all of his initial reactions to the heroine.  This excerpt also illustrates one of the limitations of first person--the meet is entirely from Lucien's point of view. Aside from his interpretation of her facial expressions and body language, and her dialogue, the reader doesn't know Samantha's reaction to him. Understanding that is a key to successful first person point of view - you can't include things that happen outside of the point of view character's first-hand, personal experience.  This made Lucien's empathic abilities very useful, because he could sense her reactions in a way that was a bit more reliable than simple impressionistic interpretation.

Two other considerations for successful first person are limiting the number of sentences beginning with "I" and avoiding filter words. Both are completely doable, though take some attention and practice.  Here's an excerpt that shows the difference between first person filled with "I" sentences and filter words, and a more effective one without:

The edited version:
Someone ran up behind me. I turned defensively, nearly dropping into a crouch, and was floored to find Ollie darting across the empty street while Samantha gaped.
“Lucien!” Ollie cried as she flung herself around my legs.
I froze. My mind was everywhere at once. The girl. Her heat. Her touch. Her scent—the spring hyacinths again. I held my breath, a last-ditch effort at restraint.
       Samantha’s confusion rolled through my body and played out across her face.
Same excerpt, but with "I" sentences and filter words:
I heard someone ran up behind me. I turned defensively, nearly dropping into a crouch, and was floored to find Ollie darting across the empty street while Samantha gaped.
“Lucien!” Ollie cried as she flung herself around my legs.
I froze. My mind was everywhere at once. I saw the girl. I felt her heat. I felt her touch. I smelled her scent—the spring hyacinths again. I held my breath, a last-ditch effort at restraint.
          I felt Samantha’s confusion roll through my body and saw it play out across her face.
See the difference? Starting too many sentences with "I" is not only repetitive, it's also redundant. In first person point of view, everything happens to the main character, so the "I" is often understood.  Similarly, filter words such as I saw, I heard, I felt, I realized, I touched, I smelled, I noticed add a layer of distance (the filter) between the reader and the immediacy of the action, and are also redundant. Again, everything that is seen, heard, felt, realized, touched, smelled, and noticed is done so by the first person narrator, making filter words usually unnecessary.

So, do you enjoy first person point of view (reading it or writing it)? What are your favorite first person stories, and why do you think that POV works so well in that story?

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

Sign up for Laura’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/d9ruD
Buy Forever Freed, and use this DigiBooks CafĂ© code for a 20% discount: e3d9d10a3c - http://tiny.cc/iydy4

***ROMANCE TRADING CARDS: Send me a SASE and I'll send them to you for free!

About Laura Kaye:
A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance with four books releasing in 2011, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong.  Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural.  Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently.  Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas!  Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Forever Freed Blurb:
A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.

I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.

But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation—talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man within me. They lure me instead.

Ah, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Point of View

Our topic this month is POV, otherwise known as Point of View. I won't go into describing the different kinds of POV since I'm going to assume our readers have read the previous blog posts on the subject. So, instead, I'll get right into what type of viewpoint I like to read and write. 

Although I've heard it's not the most popular viewpoint, I absolutely love reading stories written in first person POV. I enjoy being immersed in the main character's perspective so that I see the entire story from his/her eyes. It gives the impression that you, the reader, are living this story. You only know and see what is revealed to the main character. So, if a whispered conversation is taking place in the next room, while the main character is arguing with someone on the phone, you won't discover what was whispered until the main character does. It really adds to the mystery and suspense, and for me that equals page-turner!

Here's an example of some of my favorite novels and stories written in first person point of view: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Anita Blake series by Laurell K.Hamilton, The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, and most of Kelley Armstrong's books, such as The Summoning.

Currently, my published e-books are all written in third person POV. I needed to see through the eyes of more than one character in these stories. Third person works very well for a romance story since you can visit the viewpoint of both the hero and the heroine to get inside thoughts on what they are thinking and feeling about each other. 

One thing I desperately try not to do is head-hop. Bouncing from one perspective to the other in the same scene irritates me and jars me out of the story. I break my viewpoints with scenes or chapters, so it's clear to the reader that we're looking through a different character's eyes. 

A great writing tip I learned from the fabulous Suzanne Brockmann is about deep POV. Basically, it gives you the impressions of first person POV, but it's actually written in third person. For example, write a scene in first person (using I's and mys), then swap out all the pronouns to third person (using he's and she's). You've delved deep into the character's point of view so it reads with greater impact and brings the reader closer to the character. 

What POV do you like to read?
Tricia Schneider worked at a bookstore for 12 years, 6 of those years as Assistant Manager. Now she writes full-time while raising her three young children. She lives with her WWII re-enactor husband in the coal country of Pennsylvania. For more information visit her website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads or visit The Wild Rose Press to purchase her books.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Despite having multiple stories published, I am a novice writer, so my take on point of view is ever-evolving.

First Person

First person provides an insight into one character. Many readers are turned off by only seeing events through one character's eyes. However, I believe, with the right character, first person can be really engaging.

His Hope, Her Salvation is written in first person. It's told from the perspective of the hero. This was a challenge for me as a writer, but I felt it was crucial that the story be told from his point of view to fully appreciate the care with which he approached the heroine.

Limited Omniscient

The story is told from the perspective of one or more characters in third person. This can be done in many ways.

One Character - One Story

The advantage of this over first person is the reader can be given additional information crucial to the story without being limited to the information available only to the main character.

His Ship, Her Fantasy is written like this because I felt the style drew the reader more into the action.

One Character - One Scene

Each scene is told from the third person perspective of one character. This is a great way of showing how scenes affect a character and helps evolve character-driven stories.

Head Hopping

There are writers that can write a scene that provides multiple perspectives. However, I am not one of them. I find it distracting. The most effective execution I've seen is where the head hopping occurs at paragraph breaks. Done properly, it appears almost seamless.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Head hopping drives me nuts. I can handle it when POV changes at the beginning of paragraph, but not in the same paragraph. Confusing. In my writing, I switch a POV by a line break. Sometimes it's a scene break, but other times it's not. However, it is clearly defined to the reader that a POV is changing. That's just me though. :)

My favorite POV to write in is first person. Since I like to read romances with both the hero and heroine's POV, I had to switch to third person when I started writing romances. This was an extremely difficult switch! One of the advantages of first person (in my mind anyway) is that you can show only what the protagonist sees. So if your protagonist is an optimist, then they have their rose colored glasses on and miss out that the world is going to seed. Then you have the ability to ensure that things aren't as they appear until the protagonist and reader finally figure out what's going on.

When writing in third person, I feel more of the character if it's written in deep POV. It puts me into their head without the writing being in first person. Do you like this way of writing?

Whichever POV you choose, the only advice I'll give is to please, please, please not head hop! :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

POV: To Hop or Not to Hop

Head-hopping is when a writer expresses multiple characters' thoughts or points of views (POV) within the same scene. If a scene starts with our heroine, Jane Doe, watching the hero, John Smith, walk into the room and the writer starts describing Jane's facial expressions, then the reader knows it's no longer Jane's thoughts being expressed. Because, who thinks of his or her own facial expressions while thinking? So who's watching Jane's face and wondering what she's thinking? Is it John? Maybe. Maybe not. What if John's evil twin brother Josh is in the room?

Not establishing a clear POV can leave the reader scratching his or her head and wondering. Is John watching Jane's face light up, hoping he put that smile on her face? Or is Josh watching Jane, plotting ways to foil her budding relationship with his brother?

When an author jumps from one character's thoughts and POV willie-nillie within the same scene, it can be confusing. It also makes it difficlt for the reader to connect with the characters. And suddenly switching viewpoints in the middle of a scene, or worse, in the middle of a character dialogue, can not only leave the reader scratching his/her head, it can throw the reader completely out of the story.

If a character speaks or thinks or notices another character, the reader needs to know which character is doing the speaking, thinking, and notcing. It's usually easy to tell which character is speaking because the author will use action or dialogue tags. But during segments of internal dialogue or thought, the author needs to establish POV early on so the reader can connect to that charater.
This is not to say that a writer can't write in multiple POV. But switching POV whenever a character speaks will drive a reader crazy. In general, most readers don't care what a minor, secondary character is thinking. If it adds nothing to the plot or storyline, then don't add it at all. Stick to the main character's POV and only switch at scene breaks or chapter breaks. Occassionally, a writer can change POV flawlessly within the same scene without confusing the reader. But it takes skill and finess.

One very famous romance writer head hops, but for the most part, she has that skill and finess required to keep the reader imersed in the story without the confussion often caused by head-hopping.

A multi-published author in my local chapter compared successful POV changes within a scene to a video camera. When a camera is focused on one subject we see that subject. The same with the written scene. When in the heroine's POV, the reader is focused on the heroine. In order for the camera to focus on another subject, it must first zoom out. If the person behind the camera tries to pan over to another subject while still zoomed in, the film will blur and those watching will get dizzy. So, the camera must first zoom out, pan the room, and then zoom in on the next subject.

It's the same with writing. In order to change POV, the writer must first zoom out, pan, and then zoom onto the next character before expressing his/her POV.  And that's what I try to do.

If I'm going to change POV without using scene breaks, then I pull back from the character whose POV I'm currently in, insert a descriptive statement or two and an action or dialogue tag and then slip into the next character's POV. And I stay in that character's POV until the next scene or chapter.

This technique seems to work well if not abused and it doesn't feel as if the author is using an omnipotent POV to accomplish the switch. It also enables the author to slip into a deep POV so the reader can "feel" what another character feels within the scene without confusing the reader.

In my historical, Slightly Tarnished, released yesterday, I used this technique of panning back and zooming in to switch POV's, and I think it works. Check it out and see for yourself. http://www.wildrosepress.us/maincatalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=4543  Slightly Tarnished is an historical, but there is an element of the paranormal at the end. I just couldn't help myself.