Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Hope of Memory [Update 8] Chapter Names

I'm over halfway through the second book of The Hope of Memory, entitled Wilders.  The book is split into two distinct parts just like the first one is, but I can't really say more than that without spoiling the story.  The first ran a little long and probably ended up around 100K words - 10K over my goal of 90K.  But that's okay, I should be able to trim it down a bit in the next revision.

I'm on the fourth chapter of part two, chapter 23 of a planned 38 in total.  So it's coming along, though I've been working on an iPad app the last few months, which has been taking up some of my time.  But I try to write at least a few pages each day, aiming for four pages a day at minimum.  I usually don't have a problem writing at least something - I force myself to write if necessary and will just revise it later if I don't like it.

Chapter Names

In this trilogy I'm using chapter names, unlike Bonebearer, where I just had numbers.  Coming up with interesting but cryptic titles can be tough... you want to make the reader wonder what the title means and want to read the chapter - without giving the next plot point away.  You don't want them to figure out the story just by looking at the list of chapter names.

With the first book, The Distant, I added the chapter names later, after the 2nd draft of the book.  With Wilders, I'm adding them as I go along, usually taking a phrase out of the text itself.  There are a few that might be too revealing, but they fit very well and generally I'll leave those if it's obvious what's going to happen.  For The Distant, though, I'm probably going to redo some of the titles.  Too many are generic. 

Something I found interesting in recent years about The Wheel of Time: Robert Jordan did not create his chapter names.  His editor (and wife, Harriet McDougall), added the chapter names later.  I wonder what Jordan thought of them.

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