The more I write—the more immersed I become in it, in the humanity of the story—the more I find myself sucked into what is, to me, one of the most fascinating skills of the craft:
The Chapter Title.
Numbers alone? Not for me. Not any more. Titling a chapter, just as in writing a captivating Tweet or an arresting blog header, asks for a special (and specialized) skill.
It’s a hint. An invitation. A tease and a promise. It suggests the One Thing that is the essence of the chapter. Or it shares a major development. Sometimes it even announces how the chapter will end.
A great chapter title should, I think, communicate the writer’s fascination with what’s to come. It should poke the reader with a “what’s up with that?” curiosity. I think it’s more than okay to seed it with a reference that the reader has to go look up somewhere: In the love-of-my-life work of The Spiritkeeper, that was the case in a couple of chapters; in the book I’m so in love with now it’s a word that worked both in the melody of it and in the meaning, Eidolon.)
These links to greater meaning can be tough to come by—an explanation, perhaps, why today’s post has such a weak-ass title. I’m tired, this morning.
BTW…If you haven’t visited the site yet, here’s your invite: C’mon over to the-spiritkeeper.com. The video Trailer is there, I’ll be posting a couple more chapters, and you’ll even have a place to drop me a line or write your own review. I look forward to seeing you!