1. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Which do you do first, the name of the chapter or the chapter it self?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wolfi, Jun 9, 2011.

    I've done it both ways and both have they pros and Cons

    I find that naming the chapter first helps with the "blue print"
    while naming it last will help with the title being "dead on"
    which one do you do?
     
  2. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I don't title my chapters at all.
     
  3. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    I don't title mine either.
     
  4. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    It's pointless to me to title them.

    Besides, I hate coming up with titles and names. That's always the hardest part to me.
     
  5. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Most novels don't name their chapters.
     
  6. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Well for me its far form pointless it's what tells me whats in the chapter
    and it also can get the reader thinking "WHAT!?!?!"
    for example "death of a true man"
    in a series where pepole have called a guy a "true man" would make most readers want to read that chapter as such they will go though the book "anticipating the chapter and as such the book is more tense and more of a good read
    thats what I have found at least

    again it has to be used right if you just say
    "the 2nd" with out it being clear why then I'd agree it could be pointless
     
  7. Rascal
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    Rascal Member

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    I don't think naming chapter is altogether a bad thing. However, I have been annoyed when an author will give away something in the title of a chapter. I have read a few books where a surprise is spoiled for me simply because I skimmed through the index.
     
  8. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like everyone else who has posted so far: I don't use chapter titles.

    I've read too many books where the chapter titles have ruined the upcoming scenes for me. I don't want to be given a vague description of what is about to happen and the example you've given, "Death of a True Man", would certainly tick me off as a reader. I don't want to know someone's going to die before I get to that exact moment in the story. I don't want to know what to expect: I want to find out at the same pace as the character. Being given a preview or a hint as to what is about to happen takes me out of the story.
     
  9. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I don't title my chapters. I used to when I was younger, but it doesn't have a point to me anymore.
     
  10. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    No names - as such, although I do like how JK Rowling named her (she's the only one I can remember because I don't pay much attension).

    I like to call them 'parts' - no particular reason, I suppose I'm just more used to films and chapters feel very old fashioned.
     
  11. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    I like how George R R Martin names his chapters after the character whose POV the chapter is from; eg. Jon / Eddard etc.

    I was thinking of doing this because I also have quite a few POV characters :/ Although I was also considering naming the chapters after where they take place; like the city or the country... since I'm spanning a whole continent. Lol, so many choices.

    But I'll agree with the others, I don't like reading a chapter title because then I get all annoyed that I'm being robbed of my surprise...
     
  12. Ubrechor
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    Ubrechor Active Member

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    I'm not sure it's been said already here, but I'd just like to say that I don't title my chapters. :p
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if your book isn't for the younger end of the YA market, you shouldn't be naming them at all...

    if it is, when you come up with a name for each chapter doesn't matter, as long as it fits well enough... you shouldn't lock yourself into any single timing rule/habit, nor care what anyone else does... just do what works best for you in re each chapter...
     
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  14. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Why exactly shouldn't people name their chapters past this age? Lots of great books have chapter names. Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, even Lord Of The Rings. I'm naming chapters in my book (though I've no set pattern yet on naming them before or after writing the chapter itself.). I think chapter names are great for giving you a little hint of the coming pages so long as they don't spoil completely. Like the chapter in DH call "Fallen Warrior". You think it's going to be about Hagrid dieing but it's actually not that at all.
     
  15. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh not a big fan of naming chapters either. I also dont usually notice it when reading a book.
     
  16. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    I write the chapter first, and then don't give it a title.
     
  17. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I rarely use chapters and when I do, I don't name them.
     
  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Then it seems you've answered your own question. It's a personal decision, with no right and wrong.

    I did not use titles in my first or fourth novel, but did in my second. In my third, I broke it into four "parts" which were titled, but the chapters within each part were not. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do with my current project.

    In my second, where I did name the chapters, I named them first based on what I knew I wanted them to be about. I was using the chapter title as you do, to focus my thoughts. However, four of the twelve chapter titles changed after I'd finished the first draft. I might have dropped them altogether, except that I especially liked how the titles of the first and last chapters dovetailed with the title of the book. If I ever succeed in selling it, I'll let you know what my editor thought. :D
     
  19. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I usually name chapters before I write them. But when I get to the end of the manuscript and go back through, that's when I decide if I want to keep them. It's a personal preference. The chapter title, if anything, helps me write, and since titles are not my strong suit either, I find that just occasionally I can develop a nice title in a 20-30 chapter manuscript. :) And I've always thought that if a publisher didn't like the chapter titles but loved the story, they'd simply ask me to remove them. There's also the part about what I think sounds cool as a title doesn't to everybody else, and that usually has me removing said titles. :)
     
  20. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I don't like titling the chapters and God, if I were to do that BEFORE writing my chapter, I think I'd feel claustrophobic and a bit restricted.
     
  21. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    ??? I just asked what every one did them selfs, i did not ask what the right way to write is :confused:
     
  22. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I don't title chapters unless it's for a juvenile or YA book (and even then, only sometimes). And in the cases when I do name them, I do it after I write it. And I try and make the title name something that's relevant but that doesn't give away what happens in the chapter.
     
  23. grantsgirl
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    grantsgirl New Member

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    I am a newbie at this but looking at the "chapters of my life" seem to help me organize my thoughts and draft for my current autobiography/love story/self help book. So for me; for this book; the chapter titles are coming first but I can see how they might be edited slightly later as to not give away too much of the story.:D
     
  24. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    If I were to name my chapters, I'd have them named after something towards the end of the chapter that you won't really understand till you get there.

    Chapter 1. Seven Days

    Actually, since I am writing a book in regards to the death of someone, I wonder if I could have 7 Chapters in which the first and last are their own, but the five in-between are in reference to the 5 Stages of Death.

    1. Denial.
    2. Anger.
    3. Bargaining.
    4. Depression.
    5. Acceptance.

    As most have said, I don't title my chapters either. If I were, I'd want to have fun with it though.
     
  25. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    Can an Adult novel have chapter names?

    And I do title my chapters. And they don't ruin or spoil the readers...time and energy. But then again, I rarely think of the reader when I am writing. I am writing for me

    This isn't a set on stone thing but it's kind of fun.
     

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