Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Table of Contents

This whole writing experience of the last two or so weeks has been . . . interesting, to say the least.

The latest voyage into the Realm of the Unknown is . . . The Table of Contents.

Why? Oh, stay a while, and let me tell you why . . .

For this project, my chapters all have nifty little titles. I don't normally title my chapters. Okay, one time in the past. One time out of so many projects isn't a problem, or anything . . . is it?

So, this project has nifty little titles for each chapter.

I decided to create a Table of Contents. Not as easy as you think, though Word does have nifty little menus and videos that helped me along the way. The neat thing: if I add or delete a chapter, I just hit 'update' and - voila - updated (ha) Table of Contents. I've done this a few times already. W00-hoo!

Okay, back to the post and hand and the reason why . . . I'm absolutely loving this table of contents thing.

I printed it out - it's so pretty - and I stared at it quite a lot this past weekend. On one hand, I'm proud of what I accomplished. The Table of Contents shows my hard work. On the other hand, the Table of Contents will help through the editing phases. I've already made notations next to some of the chapter titles about things I need to add. I also, as previously mentioned, have notated on the ToC (for short) the different areas of The Basics.

Example:

Nifty Chapter Title ..............................................................................................................................3
Nifty Chapter Title ..............................................................................................................................7
Nifty Chapter Title ...........(add photo of three suspects) ............................................................12

Okay, you get my point. For me, on this project, the Table of Contents is not only an outline of my story, a chart of the five stages of The Basics, but also where I can make notations throughout the editing process of things I need to change. Or, if I need to move a chapter earlier and/or later in the novel . . . move this chapter to this point.

Has anyone out there ever done the same thing? Have a created a fancy new - and very helpful - editing tool? Have I completely lost my mind? No need to answer that last question! Ha!

Okay, off to stare at my Table of Contents a bit more!

S

7 comments:

Davin Malasarn said...

I did this in one of my earlier versions of Rooster, and I remember thinking it was really useful too. But, when I took out my chapter titles, I didn't do it anymore. I also remember it making me feel good!

Scott said...

Davin - w/out the nifty titles, I don't think I'd be as impressed with my Table of Contents. In fact, I probably wouldn't even print it out, other than to note the different part of The Basics. The titles really make a difference. Go figure.

Davin Malasarn said...

I liked coming up with titles for my chapters...when I could come up with something. But, I had enough dud titles that I decided it wasn't worth my efforts.

Scott said...

Davin - this is the only second project where I've used chapter titles. In the first, I took a sentence from within the chapter, something that explained the essence of the chapter, and used it in the title. In this latest one, I - hopefully - came up with titles that described the essence of the chapter. Hopefully. I may post a few of them, ala Mr. Bailey, on Friday just for fun.

S

Alleged Author said...

I've never had a table of contents in a book I've written before. I really like them though and am happy you are loving yours!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I've only titled chapters in two of my novels - Cinders a crappy book I wrote in high school. I'm not a big fan of naming chapters, but for Cinders it worked great - there were only 5, and they are sections more than they are chapters. I didn't feel like I needed a TOC for 5 sections, haha. I guess I could have. Now that I see how much fun you're having with it I might do that with my next book. Guess we'll see!

Scott said...

Alleged – I’ve only actually titled chapters once before. This whole cozy mystery project has been different from the get go . . . and I’m so loving it, and my ToC.

Michelle – I don’t normally name chapters. It just happened this time around. Go figure. I just go with the flow and hope for the best.