Both volumes of my WIP seem to fall into three parts. I suppose that's sort of the natural, three act structure. Well, it feels right to distinguish those parts and name them.
So, I'm wondering how many of you distinguish and/ or name parts of your books, and how many of you name your chapters?
I had one writing buddy who always found the perfect titles for her chapters. It somehow summed up everything that was important or memorable in the chapter without giving too much away. I'm too terrible with titles to do that, but I always admired that ability in her.
A lot of authors that I read do not split their books into parts, but they do label the chapters. I think that if the book does really have parts that do need to be split then you should have some sort of distinguishing mark to let the reads know. I have never split a writing into parts, but I do label chapters. I only label the chapters after I finish the first draft. When I label a chapter, I just guess at a title and then ask someone to see if it is any good. I usually have to go back and change it a lot, so my approach is not the best one. I hope that helps you.
[This message has been edited by gobi13x (edited January 12, 2008).]
I've learned to name the chapters in my WIP, else I can't keep straight what happens as it gets longer. So, "Jimbo robs the bank, gets locked in safe with alien teller." Eventually, that will turn into something else that totally doesn't give the plot away.
(edited: lern to spel)
[This message has been edited by LCastle (edited January 13, 2008).]
I was going to ask what the significane of parts is. I read a Dean Koontz book (Whispers) that had two parts, but I didn't really see the need to divide it that way other than to have a place to insert a quote. The setting/story didn't change significantly between the two parts (that I noticed).
I don't write in "parts" nor do I name my chapters, although I did for most of the fanfics I wrote. Instead, I keep a file telling me what's in each chapter. I think naming chapters may be done more often on books for kids than on books for adults.
I just finished reading a lovely novel, "A Gentle Rain" by Deborah Smith, which she divided into several "parts." I really didn't see a reason for the "parts" - still don't, after finishing the book. I suppose to some people, the "part" divisions will be significant, but I just thought they interrupted the flow (there was no significant time break between parts - if that were the case, using "parts" would make sense to me).
Books are for savoring, IMHO. I prefer to see an indication of time, or place, or character content, or thematic content in chapter/part/section headers; something that adds to the richness of the experience.
"Well of Ascension" provided a descriptive header for each section and a quote from an historical manuscript, which reflected an integral part of the plot. I like that sort of thing if it is kept short.
"Widdershins" shifted POV a lot, so every chapter was labeled with the name(s) of the POV character(s). It worked well as an anchor for starting the next section.
When I see a divider for a new part, it gives me a mental pause, and the expectation that something important is about to shift. It can be used effectively.
quote:When I see a divider for a new part, it gives me a mental pause, and the expectation that something important is about to shift. It can be used effectively.
Yes, that's rather how I feel. It's not necessary for every book, and some books that have them I felt it wasn't necessary, but there are a few books that just felt _right_ having different parts. My other WIP doesn't have parts. Only one of them does, but it just felt right to have it somehow. It's an epic fantasy, and maybe I just felt a break was needed to signify a pause. Also because I do address slightly different themes in each part (though they are all tied together in the overall arc of the story).
I also suppose it helps lay the groundwork for introducing a new POV character in the second part, and leaving him out in the first part. Still tricky, but I think it helps to have the part designation.
[This message has been edited by annepin (edited January 15, 2008).]