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Old 01-31-2013, 10:14 AM   #31
ApK
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What about chapter titles that include the entire plot outline:

Quote:
PART I. A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT.
CHAPTER I.
[The author gives some account of himself and family. His first inducements to travel. He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life. Gets safe on shore in the country of Lilliput; is made a prisoner, and carried up the country.]
I've always wondered whether those authors wrote the main text, then went back and summarized for the chapter heading, or if they started by writing the chapter headings, and then filled in all the details....

I think it would make an amusing short story structure to have nothing but those chapter descriptions.

Last edited by ApK; 01-31-2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:17 AM   #32
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I would say that, if you are going to use chapter titles, you really need to have a very clear understanding of what you're doing and how your readers might react to them. So, rather than doing chapter titles because you think it would be fun, have a very specific and well thought out reason for them.

One example that comes to mind is George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Rather than using traditional chapter numbers or titles, he labelled each new chapter with the name of the point-of-view character for that chapter. Given how many POV characters there are, this immediately lets you know who each chapter is about without even having to read one line of the chapter itself. So, it's less confusing overall.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:17 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
What about chapter titles that include the entire plot outline:
Very common in the mid 19th century, but the practice has rather fallen out of use, it seems.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:03 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
One of my early-readers warned that a particular chapter title was giving away too much, but another told me the title was wrong because it wasn't what happened (it was, just not in the way they expected). You can't please everyone.
I agree. You can't please everyone. You'll drive yourself crazy if you try to. Just go with what your gut.
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