Monday, April 20, 2009

More on Chapter Headings

The boys of the family (2 grandfathers, 2 uncles, and 2 kids) braved ominous black skies this past weekend to tackle the first ever annual manly man family camping trip. We lucked out with the storms all passing over and leaving behind 70 degree, perfect camp weather.

Tossing rocks into Lake Ray Roberts highlighted the trip for my two nephews. The photo above shows me teaching the two little guys a thing or two about rock throwing. Personally, I loved the campfire – making it, the cooking, and (authors will appreciate this) storytelling.

As the night turned late (i.e., past nine o’clock), we played the story game where everyone takes turns saying a sentence. Let’s just say that I’m glad I didn’t have to follow my 5 year old nephew. His storytelling strength definitely lies with the ability to change the pace. Every story needs a cheetah that appears and punches a dragon in the nose, right? Well, feel free to use that in your WIP.

In other news, I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on the last post, especially since chapter titles are something I’d not considered before. I like what PJ and David expressed. In short, the chapter titles need to suit the book.

Both Voltaire and Rick Riordan use titles that matched the voice of their overall story. Good titles not only do this but also usually serve a purpose in that they heighten the anticipation, building suspense and foreshadowing what is to come.

Please, no snide remarks on my own modest blog posting title today. After all, I’m still recovering from the weekend camping trip.


  1. Hey, nice blot posting title :)

    It took me a week to recover from camping. Maybe because that's how long it took to get all the laundry done!

    Glad you had fun!

  2. I have never told stories around a campfire. I've always concentrated more on the s'mores.

    And your nephew sounds very like my youngest son in his storytelling strategies.

  3. It sounds like you had a great time. I'd love to do that with my girls, albeit, I have to say I'd like to relax in a warm bath at the end of the day at the state park lodge! I'll hike anything, but I love a bath at the end. So not manly mannish!

  4. PJ -- We did have fun. I do know what you mean about the laundry.

    Alyssa -- You are a very wise lady. Always focus on the s'mores.

    Stacy -- I can't fault you for favoring the warm bath. It definitely has to be the best thing about coming home, even for the manly man.

  5. How much fun!

    I name my chapters because it's fun to do and helps me remember what's in them as I work - they often change. In SAD I had mostly 2-3 word titles that embodied the theme/metaphor of the chapter. I never noticed chapter titles before I started writing.

  6. I'm with you, Sarah. I had never noticed them either. In fact, at times, I skipped over the titles intentionally so nothing would be given away as I like a good surprise.