1. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    Chapters

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cobaltblue, Jul 10, 2012.

    I was just wondering, do you simply number your chapters or name them? And if you name them, do the names mostly come to you as you go along or do you go back after the book is written and work out the names then?

    Just wondering...

    Blue
     
  2. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    When I was writing my book I named my chapters so I would know what was going on, as I saved each chapter as its own file in Word. Originally I was just going to number them but liked the chapter titles so much I decided to keep them.

    Some chapter titles I still need to work on, such as the placeholder titles when I added a chapter between two others. Actually that's the only title I still need to tweak.
     
  3. blandmanblind
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    blandmanblind Member

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    I am one of those people that has to do a outline for a large piece of work before really ever starting to write. I use chapter names during that process to organize it, but I never intend for those to ever be made public. Additionally, I won't really even use chapter numbers, either. More than likely, when one ends there will be a *** and run right into the next one on the same page. I find it much harder to put down books that I am reading that do that. It may be a bit gimmicky, but C'est la vie.
     
  4. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I plan on naming the chapters I am writing. They are >10 pages each, any shorter than this and chapter names become insignificant, or even worse, make the chapter predictable.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I have always named my chapters. But recently, I went back and picked up a pet project, really the first writing project I ever took on, a historical novel set in and around New York City. I had originally planned on naming each chapter, but as I'm working now, I'm experimenting with a different approach (for me) - each chapter listed with its number, but with the place and year in which the action in that chapter takes place as a subtitle, such as "Chapter Two; Manhattan - 1670". I'm not sure if I will keep this motif, but I like it as an organizing tool.
     
  6. aimeekath
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    aimeekath Senior Member

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    I'd rather number my chapters, since making up a title can hint to the reader about what's going to happen next, which sucks. Plus I rarley think of appropriate titles, let alone chapter names.
     
  7. adampjr
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    adampjr Member

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    I use at least working titles to keep track of what was going on when I look at them.. I've never been anywhere close to even trying to get something published, so I don't know beyond that. I imagine that if I did I would probably look at renaming the titles (since my working titles would be spoilish).

    I've found that, as a reader, I tend to like chapter titles as long as they don't give too much away or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, have nothing to do anything. A simple two to 4 word title seems fitting.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    number only, for adult fiction... for children's books and non-fiction, number and chapter titles...
     
  9. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    I name the chapter and number them according to chronology (as in date rather then numerical order). If I have it lists as

    '17/13/182 - The Harvest Festival' then I know the date it takes place on and what it is about. As my chapters run into 2k-4k words fairly easily with a single day holding multiple chapters, I have to number and name them accordingly. When more then one chapter occurs on the same date I use numbers to indicate the chapter for events on that day. I.e. 17/13/182 - (Title) 2, 17/13/182 - (Title) 3, and so on.

    I suggest it only if you are organizationally mad and have a lot of chapters.
     
  10. Caeben
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    Caeben Member

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    For my current work, each chapter is named after the central character in it. As some have already mentioned, I originally used this as a way to organize several different story lines into a coherent plot, but I've come to like the look and will be sticking with it.
     
  11. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    That's how Martin does his Song Of Ice And Fire series and I really like that. I like how each chapter of his books is from the POV of different character.

    And hmm...you guys are making me re-think chapter titles. Some are a bit spoiley. Not too bad though, I'll have to think on it a bit.
     
  12. FirstTimeNovelist91
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    FirstTimeNovelist91 Senior Member

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    I say "Part I, Part II, Part III...."
     

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