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Old 12-19-2012, 08:57 PM View Post #1 (Link) Naming the Chapters - Yay or nay?
ScottyMcGee (Offline)
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Do you think naming chapters in your story can be stupid and cheesy? Or cool when appropriate? Do you prefer to just go "1, 2, 3, etc"?

I think it depends on the story itself. For some reason, when I think of chapter naming I think of books geared towards younger audiences. Tolkien named all his chapters though, but that's different. He wrote like a history book. The James Bond books have chapters titled too though. Sometimes I feel like they give things away. Like you read the chapter title and go, "Oh, maybe this is the part where the bad guy dies then. Hence 'Death is so Permanent".
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:36 PM View Post #2 (Link)
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I sometimes do, and sometimes don't. It varies from book to book, and I don't really have a set decision as to why I do for some and not for others. I mostly just go by gut, I guess? But I agree, pretty much all my WIPs that are geared for young adult have chapter names.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:55 AM View Post #3 (Link)
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Maybe it can be some kind of trick for book composition, for example, names composing some story which is a short description of the whole piece of writing. Otherwise, I believe it's unnecessary.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:54 PM View Post #4 (Link)
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I pretty much never use chapter titles. I just don't see a point to it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:03 PM View Post #5 (Link)
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I go back and forth between chapter titles. I used to use chapter titles all the time, but for the last few novels, I realize I haven't used any chapter titles. I think this is because I got tired of thinking of chapter titles. One of my more recent novels had thirty-nine chapters in it, and I have no desire to name all of them. I guess I burnt myself out of chapter titles, but now I don't think they're necessary.

When I read books with chapter titles, I sometimes find that I've skipped the chapter title, and later I go back to see what the title was. I do, however, think they're very helpful for the author. At least for me, they help me know what exactly what happened in which chapter, but as I said, I don't think they do much for a reader. I do like when books are separated into part one, or part two, and I do give those titles (when I use them), though I think it's just personal preference, as there's not really a clear reason why I like them.

I think I'm talking in circles now, so I'm going to stop...
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:57 PM View Post #6 (Link)
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I think 'one', 'two' and 'three' are great names for chapters. So is 'Frankie barfs on my shoe'.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:32 PM View Post #7 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Majyk View Post
I do, however, think they're very helpful for the author. At least for me, they help me know what exactly what happened in which chapter, but as I said, I don't think they do much for a reader.
I dunno, I think I benefit from chapter titles in books sometimes. Maybe it's because I tend to look back through the books I'm reading sometimes, and because I often have to find quotations for essays, but I find chapter titles make that process IMMENSELY easier. My favourite are the older novels where the chapter title is basically a plot summary of the chapter ahead, because then I can easily skim the chapter titles to find what I'm looking for. Though I do doubt this is what they're "meant" for, I do think it can help the reader.

I agree, though, that in the ones I've not used chapter titles it's partly because there are forty chapters in the book and like hell am I gonna name all of them.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:59 PM View Post #8 (Link)
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I think naming a chapter can sometimes add to the message you send within the chapter. It's not for every book, but say if the chapter had a symbollic sequence, maybe the reference will only be caught with the aid of a chapter title. Like in the book "The Glass Castle" there is a chapter where a schizophrenic old man banishes his imaginary friend. Only at the time you don't know he's imaginary. The title of the chapter is "The Last Time I Ever Saw You" and at first read through you think it means something else, but when you reach the end of the novel you realize the truth of the old man's friend (that he's imaignary) thanks to the chapter title. I think they're good for stuff like that. Otherwise, I'd go with numbering my chapters.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:17 AM View Post #9 (Link)
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I see this as a cool tool when used appropriately. However, I like knowing what chapter I'm on, so I prefer it the way Fleming writes them: "Chapter 01 [insert crapola here]" That way, you give the reader both for the geeks (like me) who wish to know their chapter and for the wondering people the best of both worlds. I like these little chapter names best, in my opinion, when they get to the climax and turn out to be ironies. You don't have to give away anything in the chapter name. You can completely mislead them into thinking something completely different at a heightened thrill. In turn, when they finish the chapter, they're on the edge of their seat going, "WOW I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT AUTHOR DID THAT! I WAS SO SURE IT WAS GOING TO END THE OTHER WAY!"

I hope that makes sense.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:56 PM View Post #10 (Link) Chapter Titles?
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When reading a novel do you typically prefer the chapters to each have an individual name or do you prefer them to just be numbered? Why?

Personally, I like them without names. I feel like, unless they are well done, the title of a chapter can be a spoiler and give away whats going to happen. Furthermore, I feel like many times they kill the flow from one chapter to the next. In the movie you have that split second of a black screen as one scene proceeds to the next. In books I feel it should be the same, don't lead the reader into a whole new process of thought by presenting them with a title.

I am not saying I don't read a book if it has chapter titles. In the cases of more intellectual pieces which have a deeper meaning I feel chapter titles can help to highlight symbols and a central meaning in the work. However, in thrillers and fantasy I find that authors often use chapter titles to encompass the central actions of the chapter which kind of ruins the excitement.
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