Today is Saturday, and on Saturdays we at The Write Practice like to break rules.

“Why?” you might ask? Because 1) it’s important to know the rules, and 2) it’s even more important to not let the rules rule you.

This week we talked a lot about point of view, limited omniscience, and head hopping. If you haven’t read our posts Head Hopping and Hemingway and Head Hopping and Hemingway Part II, you may want to read them now. However, to sum them up, head hopping is when you switch perspectives from one character to another in the middle of a scene or chapter. It’s basically when you read the minds of every character in the room.

Head Hopping Heads

Lots of heads to hop. Photo by Striatic.

Now if you’re writing in third-person omniscient, head hopping is fine. However, if you’re writing in third-person limited omniscience, like most novels written today, you’re breaking the rules and potentially making your readers, and definitely your editor, very angry with you.

Today, however, is Saturday. And on Saturday, we break rules.


Practice breaking the head hopping rule by reading as many people’s minds as you can in fifteen minutes.

The scene is set in a crowded coffee shop on a Saturday morning. There are young couples, a group of old men, several mothers with over-loud children, and a homeless woman.

(NOTE: If you just read their minds, you’ll probably be writing in third-person omniscient. Instead, try to make us think every character is what the plot is actually about. So instead of just reading their minds, pretend you’re beginning a fresh novel just about each character. Make sense?)

Write for fifteen minutes. Post your rule-breaking practice in the comments when you’re finished.

And… go!

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).