Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Types of Chapter Names

When you write a story, usually chapter names become a problem BECAUSE they kinda represent that chapter. I have found these types of chapter names and maybe they can give you an idea on how to do your own. But keep in mind these are only ones that I have seen or done.

The number chapters

like, Chapter One or Chapter 1 or Chapter I or Ch. 1

The numbers without the chapters

like, One, or 1, or I

Then there are the humorous chapters

like In Which She Hit Her Head, Tomorrow's Last Day of School or some other witty chapter name that makes you smile in the beginning. These are made-up chapters so they probably won't make you smile.

The Summary Chapters

These chapters sum up the story that follows. For my novel there is a chapter about the festival taking place in the village and it's called Hayns and Games. It sums up the chapter nicely. Usually for these, I come up with the chapter name after I write the story within.

The Summary Humorous Chapters

There is a chapter called Tall Tales in my story. "Tall" is referring to the various tall things the villagers encounter on their journey. "Tales" is referring to the fact that it is a story and that there are tales told within the story as well. It sums up the story and it is a little humorous. I say "little" because I don't want to sound like I'm praising my own writing so much.

The Name-of-Characters Chapters

I used to have this with my chapters. Each chapter was a different character and it went back and forth between two characters. I have seen other people, real authors that is, do this and thought I'd give it a go. But you have to make sure your characters all have something to give and the reader can piece the puzzle together for each chapter. Usually I think these chapters are a bit short especially if you are going to use more than two characters.

The Times Chapters

I feel like I've seen these but I might just be making it up or I might have seen it when I looked up how to do Script Writing. So like "9:30 Thursday". No wait, I did try doing this. It was a horror/thriller story I wrote like about 7 years ago. There were chapters like "10:00 Saturday" and "9:30 Monday night".

I guess you could also do Date Chapters

like, Aug 23, 2015. Or something like Summer 2015 July: Mother's Birthday. Kind of like a diary entry. I did do diary entries once. "6/8 2015 Sunny with a chance of Clouds" kind of thing and it was the title of the chapter.

The One Word Chapters

These are those chapters that are like "Shadow" or "Hills" or "Dusk" or "Fangs" or something like that (and no, I wasn't trying to reference horror but these might be good chapter names for a horror story, huh?) For me, I am always interested in books that have a title of one word. "Twilight". Like, what could it possibly be ABOUT???? And then it makes me want to read to find out what that one word holds behind it.

You might be able to come up with others or maybe you already have. In any case, I think Chapter Names require a more creative process than the actual writing of a text. Sometimes the reader might decide whether or not to go to bed at midnight or at 1am depending on how interesting the next chapter sounds.

"Ohh! This chapter...and the last one ended like that...well...hmm...maybe I can wait. *reads a little* Nope, scratch that thought I'm reading this!"

But I must admit, Chapter Names are more for the writer than they are for the reader. Do you remember the names of the Chapters of a book you recently read? I don't think you do much. Unless you are a super-fan of that book, then you might. I am guilty, just like you. I HARDLY pay attention to Chapter Names so that above quote supposedly from me is a big fat chunky lie. I decide if I will read the next chapter based on the first few lines.

Chapter Names, I think, are like a writer's guilty pleasure. It FEELS GOOD to have a name that sums up the chapter or a name that is humorous or creative... And it's great, or will be great, when you get to talk about your book to someone who has already read it and you can say, "Well, Hayns and Games, was very fun to write. I had to do a lot of research and found out that there are many different types of jigs and you can't just say 'he did a jig' because even the Irish dance is a jig!"

This quote is quite true, by the way. I watched so, so many videos of country dancing, square dancing, carnivals, festivals, animal auctions, how auctioneers speak, the sound of the fiddle...etc.

Don't poke at me for not knowing these things I didn't grow up in the States and none of my American family are from the south.

Anyway, enjoy your chapters, writers. I do encourage people to be creative with chapters. Well, not "do" but maybe I "will". "I do" sounds like I encourage people on a daily basis. I have never encouraged someone. Let's be clear that you guys are the first! :D Yay *sarcasm*

Don't be discouraged that most readers won't care about the names of your chapters unless they are extremely long or witty. But DO be creative with your chapters. Even though I understand numbering your chapters can be kind of like boasting that you have Thirty-three chapters but c'mon, don't be lazy crazy here. You are writers for heck sake. Be creative in your chapters, too.

But if you like simplicity go for it :)

You can still keep the numbers like I do: Three: Hayns and Games

Happy Writing! :D

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