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Monday, August 23, 2010

MS Word for Authors: Chapter Titles--In which our hero, Dirk Graysteele, learns he is the natural son of Prince Igor The Intransitive and ...

MS Word for Authors, Monday blog #4

Now that you have assigned style Heading 1 to each chapter and discovered the delights of Document View, consider this. Perhaps you know perfectly well what happens in Chapter 9 and 24 and 33. Or perhaps not. Was the bloody dagger discovered in Chapter 12 or was it 13? Did you remember to move the charging rhino chapter to after the fire bombing?

When you send the ms to your publisher, you probably want simple chapter titles. But until then, it can be handy to cram a mini-synopsis into each. Here's an example.

13 Dirk/Zelda in Rome,neurotox,sex,pitbull

Keep it short so you can see the key words in the Doc View panel. It's easy to clean them all up after your final edits.

Dirk wrestles alligator


nosleepingdogs said...

I love it, title, picture, and tip!

Let's just leave those long titles...good enough for Henry Fielding, good enough for me!

Is that young man one of your handsome relatives? He has a great expression gentle fascination.

Ann Littlewood said...

No, not a relative. He was part of a reptile show at the Washington, OR, County Fair. I love the way they are both so calm.

Marian Allen said...

Thanks for this and for all your lovely posts! I've awarded you a One Lovely Blogger Award! Come to my site, http://MarianAllen.com and pick it up. :)


Diane A.S. Stuckart said...

Yay! Each week, a new tweak to my WIP format. Feelin' like a pro, LOL. Love the gator, BTW.

Hitch said...

Ann: If I may, I'd suggest an alternative to cramming the mini-synopsis into H1 (Header 1) tags or styles; I use H2 for a short paragraph immediately beneath (I usually center it for no other reason than to satisfy my OCD) the Chapter title. I put my chapter synopsis there. In the Document Map, the h2 synopsis will appear indented beneath the appropriate chapter title--like an outline. And let's not forget one of the coolest aspects of the Document Map--you can navigate by it. If you click "Chapter 15" in the Document view panel, it's an active link that immediately jumps you to Chapter 15 in the document, instead of all that scrolling.

When you're done with your final edit, it's easy to search for the header tags--or to navigate to them by using the Document Map--and delete the entire h2 synopsis paragraph to create your final ms.

Great blogs! Keep it up!

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