1. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    Naming POV chapters?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by thalorin19, Oct 25, 2010.

    I'm in the midst of writing a rather large fantasy novel, a story that will span out into other books. And with the approach I'm taking, I felt I could tell an unique story through the point of view of several different characters throughout the story.

    Only thing is that hit me is well, what do I title the chapters? I don't want to rip GRRM and just put the characters name for the chapter - though that would be nice.

    Anyone have any idea's?
     
  2. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Hmm...well if all your characters take the reins in your story, entitle your chapters with a dialogue strand - just to be different. May it be something they say, think, it's up to you.

    ^Just a suggestion :D

    EDIT: Short dialogue strands :D Long ones may not be as accommodating.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    What you title your chapters really depends on what happens in the chapters. You know what happens, so you have to decide what best captures that (without giving away any of the surprises, of course).
     
  4. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    Why not? GRRM wasn't the first to do this and won't be the last.
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, it was done before GRRM and has been done since. If that's what you prefer, do it.

    Otherwise, who says the Chapters have to have titles?
     
  6. Mae
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    Mae Member

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    I have a terrible time naming chapters, so I just number them :D. Maybe you could do that too? Or if you don't like that, just copy GRRM(and countless other's before that), because it isn't ripping off at all!
     
  7. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^ Yes, exactly. In a lot of classic pieces you'll find the author has only entitled each chapter as e.g., "Chapter Two."
     
  8. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    Just about anything can make for a good chapter title; name of a key location, an emotion, an occupation etc... As Mallory said, as long as the title makes sense for that particular chapter, it'll work.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As long as the reader can tell whose POV the chapter is in, you can just number the chapters. However, I see nothing wrong with using the character's name as the chapter title. Either way works really.
     
  10. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    The Animorphs did that too, in some of the books. "Chapter 7: Cassie." "Chapter 12: Marco." That sort of thing.

    Of course, if you're uncomfortable with this, you can try other things. Perhaps each character has a title, role, or goal, and the chapters specify the PoV character that way. "Chapter 7: The Daggersman." "Chapter 8: Mudrunner." "Chapter 9: High Lord." "Chapter 10: The Daggersman." "Chapter 11: Candle Mage."

    Or, what if each character has a plot-relevant role to play? (I'm thinking of something less grand than If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, which is frocking awesome, but along the same style.) This works better in third person than first, but anyway... If you have multiple characters doing their thing, each contributing (even if by accident) to an overall arch of events, then you can name each chapter with the relevant action, and specify in the first paragraph of each chapter which character you're working with. Then everything comes together in the last handful of chapters, and some of the characters who did major things previously could show up again.

    Another option is to just write the book, ignoring chapter titles. Readers are pretty good at telling which character the author has focused on for any given chapter.
     
  11. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    I like the suggestions posted here.

    I didn't realize that GRRM wasn't the first to do that, nor am I surprised to know he wasn't. He was just one of the first books I have read where the chapters were like that. One reason I want to not do it though, is because my novel is also a fantasy type - like how his is fantasy. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want mine to stand out from his?

    I'm going to try experimenting with emotions/and themes of the chapters though. Numbers are good and all, but I want to always have something to grab the readers attention, to keep them reading.
     
  12. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    The best way to stand out is to write a really good story. Relying on tricks doesn't work; in fact, it could be decremental to your opportunities. Most editors, when they spot something unusual, will just throw out a manuscript unread. What will make your story stand out is good storytelling.
     
  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As a reader, I really don't care if you use chapter titles or not. Your writing is the only thing that's going to keep me reading or make me stop.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    ^ I agree.

    In fact, as a reader I don't even care if you HAVE chapters :D

    Not to long ago I read a few novels that didn't. They were good.
     
  15. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    In Tracy Chevalier's book 'Falling Angels' she uses several PoV. It may be worth your while taking a look at how she did it.
     

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