I recently attended an editing workshop hosted by a trad-pub romance editor who said, “Head hopping is fine! All the greats do it, and it works fine!” I didn’t catch much after that because of the steam whistling out of my ears, but I’m pretty sure we’d disagree on other fundamentals.
Then I came home and started reading a fantasy novel that I was pretty psyched about until Chapter 5, whereupon I had the damnedest time figuring out how the point-of-view character, who had specifically been described as telepathically “deaf,” was able to know what another character was thinking and feeling. I eventually deduced, after coming to a dead stop to read the page five times to unravel what happened, her impairment didn’t spontaneously resolve. The author simply decided to be done with that character and jump into another one with no transition, and his editor thought it was fine.
For those unfamiliar with the term, head hopping is a not-fine technique in which the point-of-view character changes without a scene break or chapter break to indicate you’ll be spending the next chunk of time cozied up with a new character.
Let me tell you when it can work before I rant about why it doesn’t.