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So you say that you want witty chapter names?:

So I am making this thread for all your cool/witty/awesome title making critique needs!

Whether you are lampshading something, foreshadowing, or being plain direct with your title, you can find out how cool it sounds here!
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
I'll go first if anyone wants to go for the idea.

Here are my chapter names, my second attempt at some cool ones.

Chapter names:

1. Burn, Pillage, Burn, Invade.

2. True Friends abandon their posts for each other.

3. I Am Not in Denial!

4. A Heroís Gamble.

5. The Southern Ones Will Save Us.

6. Sweep and Weep em in Rows.

7. Who the Hell is That?

8. Never Trust the Silent Ones.

9. Canít we just talk this through?

10. I know now that we didnít work out because you keep trying to kill me.

11. Why didnít anyone notice this before?

12. It reminds me of L.A., but without Hollywood.

13. Wait, you want what?!

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Sounds like anime episodes.

 4 jasonwill 2, Wed, 27th Apr '11 2:56:08 AM from West Virginia
That is not what I was going for. Is that good or bad?

Does anyone else want to share/get theirs critiqued?
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 5 annebeeche, Wed, 27th Apr '11 3:35:46 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I dislike long chapter titles (that is, chapter titles that are statements, exclamations and commentary), but whatever floats your boat.

My chapter titles are usually things such as:

  • A Crack in the Glass - Project One Fifty Four, referring to the fact that the mentalities of 154s are so perfect that the suggestion of a deviant such as Jack Clive is a "crack in a seemingly unbreakable pane of glass", an imperfection or weakness that can be exploited.
  • A Walk in the Woods - Red. The subject of the chapter is a critically important walk in the woods.
  • Return to Quebec - Red. Ditto—the subject is Red's revisit to Quebec.

For Beowulf I have a pattern in which the chapter titles are in Old English, written in the futhorc, then in latin. For example, the title of the first chapter is NiĢing, which is loosely translated as "unfavorable/unmanly man".
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 6 Oh So Into Cats, Wed, 27th Apr '11 6:57:48 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
CANON!!
I've only had three chapters so far:

1. Oedipus Complex 2. Motor Vehicle Husbandry 3. Pumpkin Terminal Velocity

Though at this point I am definitely thinking of going back to chapter numbers.

@Jason — your titles would work very well for a work that's not taking itself too seriously. See, something like Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In those books, the goofy chapter titles are awesome and work very well. If those are for the story I think they're for, I would change them to something else...

edited 27th Apr '11 7:00:36 AM by OhSoIntoCats

"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
Most of my chapter titles are either puns, or literature and film allusions.

 8 Major Tom, Wed, 27th Apr '11 7:16:34 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
I run the gamut. From Word Salad Title to Indicative Name (and Non-Indicative Name) to ones that leave you scratching your head wondering "what the hell was I meaning?".
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 9 Ronka 87, Wed, 27th Apr '11 9:06:44 AM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
Since reading Percy Jackson, I've been dabbling in fun/goofy chapter titles that make perfect sense in context. Among my favs are:

A Sex God Reads My Palm, Dad Ruins my Birthday Party, My Date Schedule is Prophesied, Mel Mud-Wrestles a Bear, I Play the Trading Card Game of Death, We Go Spelunking into Oblivion, A Goddess Signs Adoption Papers, I Line Dance with an Amazon Queen, and I Go Bra Shopping with My Brother.

I'm having fun with this story.
Thanks for the all fish!
 10 JHM, Wed, 27th Apr '11 9:13:13 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
My chapter titles seem to be turning out mostly as obscure puns on modern classical compositions, e.g. "He Was A Visitor", "Different Trains"...
My chapter titles are boring, they're just things like 'chapter 1'. I don't tend to like witty chapter names because they give away the plot.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 12 annebeeche, Wed, 27th Apr '11 1:39:41 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] Good chapter names don't.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 13 Major Tom, Wed, 27th Apr '11 6:10:42 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ Unless they are done in clever spoilerrific ways like how some TV show episodes are titled.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 14 Mr AHR, Wed, 27th Apr '11 6:25:53 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I don't make chapters at all. It's just in one giant massive mush.
 15 animemetalhead, Wed, 27th Apr '11 6:30:01 PM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
I don't usually go for witty. A lot of my titles are song/music related, or they're shout-outs.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
That is not what I was going for. Is that good or bad?

I'm indifferent. Like someone said earlier it makes your work seem more goofy, whether that's good or bad is up to you.

^^ I also don't write with chapters in mind, but I would go back when the thing is done and divide it up.

I'm not sure if I prefer numbered or titled chapters. If there aren't a lot of chapters I can navigate numbered easier, but if there's a lot then I have a hard time keeping track of numbers.

edited 27th Apr '11 6:32:35 PM by melloncollie

Maelstrom
One story I'm writing channels Shakespeare a lot, especially elements of tragedy. To strengthen this connection, I decided to divide the story into five acts, and rename the chapters to scenes. A purely cosmetic change, but it works wonders for thematic value.
 18 Ronka 87, Wed, 27th Apr '11 7:57:39 PM from the mouth of madness.
Maid of Win
^ That's actually a very neat concept.
Thanks for the all fish!
Responsible adult
I've got two books set in the same universe. Both have first-person narrators, but they have vastly different chapter-title styles due to their vastly different personalities.

Examples from the first book:
  • The Prince is Awkward.
  • A Little Bit of Suenyan Cosmology
  • It Followed Me Home; Can We Keep It?
  • This is the Gross Chapter.
  • Boyse Will Be Boyse*
  • What's His Motivation?
  • Oh My God, Shoes.
  • Wendi a Go-Go
  • An Offer I Could Definitely Refuse
  • God Save Us With the Queen
  • Boysenberry in a Jam*

The second book has more standard chapter names, like:

  • Uncle Teo's Letter
  • Bandits and Traps
  • The Bandit
  • A Present for Dawra
  • Contractual Obligations
  • Purple

Et cetra, et cetra, et cetra.

"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
[up] Your first set made me chuckle.

My own titles used to be really bland, like "Charades" - I tend to have a bunch of working-titles and then picking a final one, often more serious, later. Said working titles (that stay the name of the document, regardless of any internal change) are typically the title of whatever song I'm listening to upon beginning; "Otherside" - Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Torn" - Disturbed (appropriate, considering that I mangle and permanently disable my main character in that one), and so on. I write in third-person narrative/limited mostly, so I feel like I can't have as much fun with my titles as Freezair For A Limited Time. Occasionally, I think of better titles, like:

- "Payment and Consequences"

- "Acheron" (the Greek river of woe - also the name of a pretty decent Ancient History/Romance novel)

- "Rediscovery and Inopportune Moments"

- "Plying" and "Plying Part II"

- "Random Encounters" (This one's about a sexual encounter that seems random to the main character, but actually isn't in the whole of it - named after the "Random Encounter Game Mechanic")

edited 28th Apr '11 4:50:06 AM by punkreader

 
^ I particularly liked "Archeron" and "Random encounters: references to mythology and RPG's are win in my book.

I am currently working on a Dungeon Punk story for fun that I may or may not be posting on the internet sometime soon. Here's what I have so far.

1) Kelley Dee Is, Once Again, One Coin Short Before Charon

2) Captain Andy Doesn't Appreciate Murderous Rubberneckers

3) Niccolao Wrathfulgrape Purchases the Bottle Imp at the Price of Two Cents

4) Faerie King Puck Keeps a Close Eye on Kelley Dee

edited 28th Apr '11 9:41:18 AM by OfficerSting

The current story I'm working on just has one word chapters (boring) but my other story has cliche/stock phrases for its chapter titles.

So with that I have:

Prologue: Dead Men Tell no Tales

Chapter 1: First Impressions are Important

Chapter 2: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Chapter 3: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Chapter 4: Blackmail is Such an Ugly Word

Chapter 5: I Get Along with a Little Help from my Friends

Chapter 6: I Can Only Help You if You Let Me (I need to rework this one as I'm not sure if it's really a common phrase...)

Chapter 7: Trick or Treat, Smell my Feat

Chapter 8: Thereís No Such Thing as Privacy On The Internet

Chapter 9: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I also have some future chapters that are going to be named, "I Brought You Into this World; I Can Take You Out of It", "Hush Little Baby, Don't you Cry", and "The Green Light Means go, Red Means Stop".

I suspect the stock phrases index on here will prove useful for naming these...

edited 28th Apr '11 12:03:31 PM by Hermiethefrog

See ALL the stars!
At the moment, my chapters are named after lines from Ashes to Ashes.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 24 Collen, Thu, 28th Apr '11 1:12:44 PM from it is a mystery
vilent waler
Chapter names are probably one of my favorite parts of writing. It lets you get creative and sets a goal for the chapter. (At least, it does for me)

Some names I came up with (in chapter order):

  • My Incompetence Shows it's Best
  • It's an Oppression, not a Depression
  • I Discover They Still Use Snail Mail
  • Panning to Elsewhere
  • Fire: Not all S'mores and Marshmellows
  • The Rain Always Seems to Happen Right on Time
  • I Bow Down to my Dragon Overlords
  • They Don't Hand out MacGuffins for Participation, do They?
  • I Win, Somehow (But who are These Other Guys?)
  • I Become a We (No, We're not Legion)
  • I See the Light and it's Pretty Mediocre
  • A Rallying of the Other Guys
  • Sadly Water Pressure does not Kill Fish
  • We Lose a MacGuffin Already
  • They Just don't Make Villains like They Used to
  • Just as Planned Except for the Kidnappers
  • Storming a Castle in Broad Daylight: A Guide
  • We Barter for... Whatever This Thing is
  • We Make it out Alive
  • We Barely get a Good Night's Sleep
  • Ain Actually Agrees With Something (I Guess Pigs Fly now?)
  • A Meeting With the High Counsel of Something or Other
  • Spam, Bill, Bill, Call to Adventure, Advertisement, Bill

edited 28th Apr '11 1:14:11 PM by Collen

Responsible adult
  • Fire: Not all S'mores and Marshmellows
  • Spam, Bill, Bill, Call to Adventure, Advertisement, Bill

Those are my favorites of yours. I love chapter titles, too.

Except in the second work I mentioned. Even if I had a snarkier narrator, I'm having a hard time naming my chapters in that one.

edited 28th Apr '11 3:48:57 PM by FreezairForALimitedTime

"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Total posts: 68
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