Originally, The Rescue didn’t have chapter names – that was a request from my dear wife. So, I was faced with the task I had intentionally avoided – trying to distill twenty or more pages down to some specific few words. This presents more than a few problems because, honestly, it took me twenty or more pages to explain what happened. Chapter headings seemed more the purview of poets than someone who writes really long stories.
Nevertheless, I took a stab at it – after all, I have seen more than my fair share of serial TV shows, and they all have “episode names” that don’t really do much more than take a swipe at what the story line might be about. I don’t think I was really happy with my first attempt, and I backed up a couple of times, finding I had duplicated words between the name of chapter six and chapter ten, for example. Finally, I arrived at a set of phrases that allowed me to feel like I’d checked off the “chapter name” box without ruining everything else that was there.
Now, a little farther down the line, I’m a little more into the idea of chapter names. They do serve a summary purpose – more or less, but moreover, a setter of focus or of tone. A chapter name such as “Ridiculous Frivolity” warns the reader that’s what’s coming, whilst a chapter name such as “Implosion” (actually used in The Fallen) does set the expectation that bad things are ahead. It gives the reader a bit of a mental road sign to what they should be looking towards.
Honestly, it can be a little fun, as well. For example, Purebred chapters mostly end in the “y” sound with such chapter names as “Progeny,” “Generosity,” and (my favorite), “Fanassaragatti.” So, it’s that little bit of fun I’ve been having recently.
I also have to admit that Beyond (working title) has actually been banging at the door pretty hard, and I might start some work on that one – at least the introduction. My other “side” writing projects have kind of faded, a bit, and that one’s been in my head for awhile. So, we’ll just see! 🙂
Take care, and see you in the future!