Writer's Blog (megancrewe) wrote,
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How chapter titles fixed my book

You may remember last week I was kind of complaining about how LOKI'S BOY decided it wanted chapter titles. Well, this morning they proved their usefulness to me in a completely unexpected way.

See, I was having this issue yesterday with a chapter. It had too much stuff in it. I knew it had too much stuff in it. But all the stuff was necessary and the chapters on either side also had a lot of stuff, so I couldn't just shift a little one way or the other. And it wasn't anywhere near long enough to just chop it in two. So I was trying to convince myself that it really was okay to have all that stuff packed into one chapter--it fits the mood, it reflects the confusion of the main character, um, er...

This morning, my brain woke me up early to think about chapter titles. I made a list of them last night, and I ended up with one that nothing really worked for. As I was half asleep, really wishing my brain would give me a break before it started trying to work through this, it occurred to me that I had an extra chapter title I'd like to use, but couldn't, because the event it referred to was in a chapter that had an even more important event giving its name.

I looked at this from about five different angles before I realized there was a simple solution. Chop the end off the previous chapter (which just happened to be the chapter with too much stuff in it), and the beginning off the next chapter, and there's a brand new chapter with enough-but-not-too-much stuff, and a perfect title! And the following few chapters are all a bit of a muddle of stuff happening anyway, so I could quite easily move around the rest of the chapter breaks so it all made sense and I had the same number of chapters as before. Voila! No more too-busy chapter, and no more missing chapter title!

So in honor of the fact that they fixed my book, I give you the title chapters for LOKI'S BOY:

1. Ring Oath
2. A Cup of Mead
3. Thor's Hall
4. Playing the Fool
5. A Handful of Silver
6. Loki's Lips
7. What You Couldn't Ever Have
8. A View of All Things
9. Battlefield
10. The Wedding Party
11. A Wolf Within the Walls
12. The Golden Apple
13. Dreams of Death
14. A Sprig of Mistletoe
15. Aegir's Feast
16. Judgment
17. A Net of Ashes
18. A Giant Felled
19. Homecoming

(4 and 15 are still a little iffy, the rest are almost certain.)
Tags: loki's boy, names and titles, novels, plot and structure, revision
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