1. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    Chapters

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pink-Angel-1992, Feb 29, 2012.

    Some Authors just name there chapters "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2" etc where others give their chapters individual names. More out of curiosity, I'm wondering what would be the best - naming them or just numbering the chapters? Or would it just depend on what type of story it is?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This is another question that has been debated to death in many threads. Try doing a search on the word Chapter in this forum.
     
  3. Bad Grass
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    Bad Grass New Member

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    When I see Chapter One, I keep reading.
     
  4. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    It could really go either way in my opinion. Chapter # gets the job done and lets the reader get to reading the important parts. But a good kind of wordy title that hints or expresses a certain part of the coming chapter is interesting at best and very easily forgettable at worse. The only titles I actually remember when I;m done with the book anyway are the ones with poems or phrases under them anyway. If I had to choose I would prefer individual names just for that tiny bit more of interest. I will read on regardless of title choices though.
     
  5. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Don't try to find 'the best', use what works best for you.

    I used to number my chapters, until I formatted my work for e-books and found that I could put a Table of Contents at the end of the novel. Without revealing what the chapter was all about, I gave each chapter a single word name that would be ambiguous for a new reader, but clear to a repeat reader, so it would be easy to find a 'favorite' chapter or passage using the ToC.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    generally speaking, chapters are numbered for adult fiction, while books for children and the younger end of the YA market will often have chapter titles... in non-fiction, it depends on what kind of book it is, but titles are more the norm...

    cog...
    is there any mention made in the instructions to new members about checking the site for existing threads before starting one to get answers to basic questions,?... if not, may i suggest it be added--in bold?
     
  7. Pink-Angel-1992
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    I can't remember if new members were told to check the site for existing threads for their answers before posting their question. Sorry I didn't think about doing that before I posted.
     
  8. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    Myself I represent some small fraction of the reader population who doesn't much care what the chapter is called because if the story is gripping enough she just reads right past a chapter break and hardly notices.
     
  9. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I prefer chapter names myself, as a reader because it gives a little hint of what's to come, and can often be quite poetic and as a writer I just enjoy making them up. I object to classifying named chapters as a YA convention. Fantasy especially uses chapter titles even when it's for an older audience.
     
  10. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    Do you make up the names before or after writing the chaper Protar? Just numbering the chapters is simple, but I find it hard to give a chapter an approprate name. Truthfully, I struggle coming up with a suitable name for the whole thing!
     
  11. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Generally before, as I'll have a basic idea at least of what's going to happen and I rarely deviate so much that the title no longer works. And not every title has to be mind blowing. Lots are just the names of places the characters visit, or something to do with a new character being introduced.
     
  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Agree with all of this.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Experience has shown that most of the people who ask basic questions don't read new member guidance posts anyway.

    How many new members who get a pop up message when they try to post their writing immediately post a "Why can't I post???" thread, instead of reading the site rules? Reading the rules seems to me the obvious thing to do, especially when the pop up indicates that the reason they can't post is due to site requirements.

    Nope, adding more recommendations to the new member material would be like ttrying to teach a cat to sing opera. A futile waste of time for the teacher that would only succeed in annoying the cat.
     
  14. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    Both work for me. My rough draft chapters are numbered.
     
  15. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Thanks for the comments! I'll keep them in mind for the future!
     
  16. LittleWaterLily
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    I don't think it matters to be honest. Some authors like Terry Pratchett don't even use a chapter format. :) I think it depends on the feel of the actual story.
     
  17. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    I like naming my chapters, but I leave that until the end. This is because as the story undergoes edits, often, the original chapter names will no longer be suitable. Also, when naming chapters, there's the risk of spoiling what's coming up.
     
  18. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    You always have the most interesting visuals, Cog.



    On topic, I have honestly never ever paid attention to chapters whether they're numbered or named. As far as I'm concerned, as a reader, the end/beginning of a chapter is that spot where I can pause if I really, really need to get to sleep.
     
  19. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Thanks for the comments!
     
  20. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    I started out naming my chapters mostly because I needed to name the files that contained them. Will I keep the names in the final version? I don't know yet. Of course the content of each chapter will change during editing and so will the chapter boundaries. Chapter names, if they exist at all, will certainly only get finalized at the end.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it's a YA book, no problema... but i'd not recommend keeping them for adult fiction...
     
  22. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    This is a popular question lately. I've read quite a few people posting this question and really the answers all come down to personal preference. Some say yes, some say no.

    I don't mind if there're titles, they don't really effect the way I read a book at all. I think a lot of readers feel this way (but don't quote me on that.)
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sure it's personal preference, but if a writer really wants to get a book published, it only makes sense to arrange the ms the way publishers and the majority of readers/bookbuyers prefer...
     
  24. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    That's true of course, I'm sure the chance to get a book published would trump something like chapter titles
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not just lately. Always.
     

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