1. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Is this too much for chapter titles.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by louis1, May 28, 2012.

    this is how every chapter begins

    VII. Chapter Name
    little poem
    goes here
    something
    like this

    THE GUYS WALKED BLABLABLA.....

    Is this too much for chapter titles?
     
  2. Oko
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    Oko Member

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    I think it's fine.
    IV
    Retribution
    Personally, I actually prefer it when chapters have names.
     
  3. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Louis1 - uh oh you're walking on contentious territory here..................

    I don't like chapter titles, but that's just laziness as a writer and reader. It's hard enough thinking up a zippy title let alone a zippy title for a 30 chapter book. And I almost never read a chapter title -- it's one of those things I gloss over.

    What is the purpose for the poem? Is it an original poem? Is it from someone else? Then you must think first, copyrights blah blah boring business stuff...
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you make it work, it's not too much. If you don't then it is. Plenty of books have something like that; plenty don't.
     
  5. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    the poem is original. and it serves two purposes. first one is, it foreshadows what happens the chapter. and at the same time it's a poem written by one of the characters in the book.
     
  6. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Why do you feel it necessary to foreshadow the events of the chapter? (I'm not arguing that it doesn't have a purpose, but I'm just trying to get you to think about it). Why not just let the reader discover the chapter for him/herself? And if it's a poem written by one of the characters, does this have a role? Are the poems themselves some kind of prophetic message? In which case, why not just introduce them as they come?
     
  7. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    they do have a prophetic message. this is how it goes: the character wrote a poem about death many years before the events in the book take place and know one (in the book) knows that they foreshadow what will happen except for one guy. but the reason why I want the poem there is because I love when things are foreshadowed. It's a personal thing I get. It doesn't stop the reader from discovering the chapter, because (in my own mind ) it's very subtle foreshadowing.
     
  8. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Like I said, I'm just trying to play the devil's advocate to get you thinking about whether or not it's truly necessary. Only you know as the author if that's the case. The obviously play a central role so I would say go for it.
     
  9. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Thanks, that's what I need. i know they don't play a central role in the story, the poem and it's author are actually only mentioned once, but they are more of a background thing. that explains, how one character knew things were going to happen before hand.

    I don't ever mention it, it's for the reader to figure out.
     
  10. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Wow, I've never thought of doing every chapter like that before. Every time I've seen something similar, it's been used to introduce PART IV or whatever. If all of that information can offer interesting insights into the chapter and/or story as a whole, I think that that would be pretty cool. So yeah, try it out.
     
  11. Akyra
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    Akyra New Member

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    Personally I have no problem with the format, so long as the contents follow. As in, is it a good poem, is it related to the story and/or chapter, does it say too much or too little, does it get the reader to think... Also, it has to be short. If it's longer than a short paragraph, most people won't read it.
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you've put a lot of thought and love into this structure, with the poems and all. I think you should go for it - the idea itself sounds amazing, it's something I would personally love, assuming it's done well. I also usually love it when an author puts a snappy, meaningful quote at the beginning of chapters (I've seen this mostly for non-fiction, thought for fiction I've usually seen it only at the beginning of the book, on the blank page before Chapter One begins) - usually it sort of sums up the point of the chapter in some illustrative and powerful way that reveals wisdom better than even the most beautifully written prose. If your poems come across as like that, it'd be very powerful.

    My only thing to pick on - please don't put your poem on the right-hand-side of the page. I didn't even notice the "poem" until I read another user's post referring to it, so I scrolled up to check again. You don't want your readers to miss something this thoughtful. Rather centralise it I think. (Mind you, I guess on a printed page, the width is shorter so maybe the readers won't miss it, dunno)
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In manuscript, the poem should be written as a block quote, an indented block not enclosed in quotation marks. The block quote, unlike ordinary manuscript paragraph text, does not use a first line indent -- the entire block quote is equally indented.

    Don't right-align it. Exactly where it is aligned and how it is formatted is a typesetter's decision, not the writer's.
     
  14. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    thanks now i just have to write a 120 lines poem lol
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    unless you're an accomplished poet, i'd strongly advise against this... i mentor/tutor many aspiring poets and as a full time poet/tutor and an editor, know that most who think they're writing poetry are really just churning out unpublishable doggerel--or worse...

    an acceptable prose ms can be tossed, if the first view of your work an agent or acquisitions editor gets is poor bits of poetry starting every chapter...

    so, if you haven't got confirmation from knowledgeable sources that your verse is up to par, you may want to consider leaving off the poetry till your ms is accepted for publishing...
     
  16. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    I`m not quite sure how to know if I am an accomplished poet.
    is my mom a knowledgeable source ? ahah joking.
    well i guess i`ll have to see. I`ll post the poems for review here maybe, but i write in french so, that might be a problem.
     
  17. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    In terms of chapter titles I actually like them. Sometimes they're insightful and thought-provoking and sometimes they're not. I know many people find them to be childish but it comes down to personal choice.

    As with the poems, I agree with the sentiments above. The poems should really have a purpose and convey something which you can't in your narrative.

    I haven't read too many stories with this format but it's interesting nevertheless.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    louis...
    since you're not writing for us or uk market/publishers, then asking here isn't going to get you valid answers unless we have other french members who have the info], since what won't be good to do for us/uk publishers may well be fine for those in france... and vice/versa...
     
  19. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    In my region, there are places you can go to listen to poetry readings, and very often they'll have an 'open-mike' time when anyone can come up and read. See if you can find something like that where you live.
     
  20. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Well, i'm not from France. I live in montreal, quebec, canada. And if you didn't know, unlike the stereotype make us believe, canada is actually pretty much the same as the USA (i don't know about UK) So i'm guessing if an american publisher would accept this, then so would a canadian one.
     
  21. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Are you writing the text en francais? I wonder what the market is like for French fiction. (I'm from MTL too). I'm an anglophone so I have never thought about writing fiction in French, but are there a lot of authors publishing fiction in French? Or is it mostly les traductions? I don't read much in French either, except for when I was in school.
     
  22. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    It's mostly translations because of demand obviously, people want to read harry potter, hunger games etc. But I still think there are lots of french fiction writers, i just don't read them. (i kinda hate everything artistic that comes out of Quebec just seems boring to me.)
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're really dead set on having both a chapter title and an introductory poem for each chapter, along with the chapter number, then just type it all normally, double-spacing the poem the same as you do the text, and let the publisher's book design staff decide how to arrange it all in print... like this:

    ...in your ms, the first line of the text would be indented, but posting won't allow it, which is why it's all left-aligned here... the chapter #/title could be centered or at left, the poem should remain at left, or can be a block indent, but should not be centered, or at right margin...
     
  24. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Thanks! I'll definitely do it this way.
     

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