1. Vofzolne
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    Vofzolne Member

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    Chapter One vs Chapter 1 vs One vs 1

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Vofzolne, May 20, 2015.

    Yes, I am past the first chapter.
    I just got started on the third draft of my current WIP. It's a fantasy epic. Third person. There is one main point of view, and some frame narrative chapters threaded in between.
    Each chapter will have a name, aside from its assigned number. However, I am not sure which numbering format to use. In my previous book I didn't do chapter numbers, only names. And aside from that, I've only got short stories.
    So basically, I am tackling this for the first time.
    So again, it's an epic fantasy, and chapters will have a subtitle.
    What do you think fits best, thematically, and what format do you think works best in other genres? Does PoV make any difference?



    Example for what I'm talking about:

    Chapter Thirteen
    Dogshit


    vs

    Chapter 13
    Dogshit


    vs

    Thirteen
    Dogshit


    13
    Bullshit
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    1, 2 and 4 are all pretty much equivalent.

    3 has the problem of looking like a two-word chapter title rather than a number and a title.
     
  3. Vofzolne
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    Vofzolne Member

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    Huh, hadn't thought of that. Readers would catch on, but I'd rather not confuse them right off the bat.


    "Wait, so is it chapter one, dogshit, or is he referring to a single dog's dump?"
     
  4. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    I use Roman numerals.

    I

    Dogshit



    II

    Horseshit



    III

    Bullshit



    IV

    Roman numerals look good​
     
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  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Love the idea of Roman numerals as you are having chapter titles too.
     
  6. Vofzolne
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    Vofzolne Member

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    Ooh, I love roman numerals. But I feel they set a tone that doesn't fit my story. Plus, my chapters climb to a number past fifty, and I don't want a chapter numbered XXXVIII...
     
  7. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    When you get to chapter XX, you could just go into "part 2" of the book, and start over?
     
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  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you planning to self-publish this?

    If not, don't worry about it - your publisher will change things to match house style, or the layout of the book, or whatever.

    If you're self-publishing - My personal preference is option 1.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Makes sense.
     
  10. Vofzolne
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    Vofzolne Member

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    I am not planning to self publish. It's a good point that most of these stylistic decisions will come down to the publisher's preference, but I still want to find the best format for my beta readers.
     
  11. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a beta reader and just a plain ol' reader, I really don't care. As long as I know it's a new chapter, I'm fine. (ie, don't sweat the small stuff)
     
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  12. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Judging by these chapter headings, I am a little concerned about what this book's about.
    Personally, I like 2 and 3
     
  13. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Frankly, I think you are thinking WAY to hard on this. When in doubt, just use option 1 or 2.
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you're just doing this for your beta readers, just make it clear what your chapter numbers are ...and if you want a chapter name with them, maybe put it underneath. As to how it's actually formatted when you go to submit for publication, you'll need to read the guidelines from each agent you submit to. I wouldn't get too hung about about it (or too fancy) at this stage.
     
  15. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I don't like the chapter titles. Fine if that's in your book, just keep it there. Use example chapter names.
     

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