Got another chapter of The Complete Writer online: “Two Kinds of Revising.”
Decided that the book chapters should be posted under their chapter titles, rather than just “Chapter 1…Chapter 2…” and so on. Initially, it seemed to me that for SEO purposes, a shorter title is better. Didn’t take long, though, to see the speciousness of that theory: what does “Chapter 8” mean, anyway?
So I’ve revised the post titles for Complete and also for If You’d Asked Me…. This is a bit of a PITA, because you can’t just change the titles. For each post, you also have to go in and change the URL — WordPress won’t do that automatically. Not that it’s hard. Just more tedium.
For Ella’s Story, I remain undecided. For one thing, works of fiction often have untitled chapters. Here, for example, is a chapter title in Gore Vidal’s Lincoln:
Enticing, isn’t it?
For another: I have no idea what to call these things. Never have I been good at dreaming up titles. Believe it or not, one of the first tasks assigned to me when I went to work at Arizona Highways was to write titles for various department squibs. Didn’t take long for the boss to figure out that my real talent was in writing cutlines. 😀
Or maybe carrying out the trash?
Still…it seems to me that a work of fiction benefits from chapter titles that say something. Especially if you’re going to publish chapters serially, as quasi-freestanding entities.
We have eight chapters online right now. And…well…the eight proposed titles scribbled on a yellow pad here don’t exactly leap off the page and sparkle in the atmosphere.
But…y’know…we do have some people who are following Ella’s Story. You’ve heard of participatory journalism? How would you like to join in a bit of participatory chapter title writing?
At Plain & Simple Press, the individual chapters are posted as entries in the site’s blog. All you have to do is scroll down: about every third post is a piece of Ella’s Story. If a good title comes to mind, either post it as a “comment” to that chapter, or, if you prefer, come here and post a list of as many titles as you cook up.
If you prefer not to sift through chapters from two other books to find Ella, all of her chapters are gathered in one place, at the Ella’s Story page. That being a static web page rather than a blog entry, it may be easier to post a set of proposed titles right here.
Hey! It’s better than workin’!
Speaking of working, it’s time to get down to that… Let me know if you have ideas for Ella’s chapters.