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InDesign and Chapter Names

I've spent the better part of the last two hours digging into how to create a chapter template for typesetting novels. Now, I'm not tech-illiterate. Once upon a time I fixed computers for a living.

But dang son.

Wrapping my head around all of the nuances of InDesign can be hard on a good day. Trying to get it to do exactly what I want in regards to text typesetting is mind-boggling. On paper it seems so easy. Do this, do that, put this margin here, that margin there, etc., etc. Easy peasy lemon squeazy.

More like difficult difficult lemon difficult.

Even now I'm kinda having a "bonk yourself on the forehead" moment after figuring out how to import text and have it seamlessly splay across whatever number of pages is required. But getting to that point was so much easier said than done. Am I grateful that I figured out my mistake and now (kinda), know how to typeset a manuscript? Yes. Do I feel like it was two hours well spent? Uh...maybe?

Whilst learning how to do said typesetting, I realized that a lot of times, chapters have names. Until now, I really haven't considered one way or another whether I'd want chapter names or not. Now that I'm nearing the point of making decisions such as this, I find I lean more toward having chapter names than not. Buuuut this creates a whole new ball of wax for me. Why you might ask? Because that means I have to go back through book one and figure out what the hey-dandily-day I should name each chapter. Without getting distracted.

This may sound arrogant or self-serving or whatever other word you might want to throw in there. Whatever. I don't care. You think what you want of this statement. But I find it really hard to go back into my books and not read them as if it was one of my favorite series. I get sucked right on into this wonderfully convoluted tale every time I go to peruse for quotes, highlight problem areas, and now to consider chapter titles. I'll find myself an hour of dedicated focus and then another hour later, I've read a bunch of chapters and didn't do any of my intended goals in those chapters because I was enjoying reading the story too much. And that's even when I'm rereading poorly written book one and the first half of book two (because my ability to write has been arduously long in its development).

Not to mention that I still have to decide what my chapter breaks look like. I've always just placed dashes at a left justification where a chapter break should reside. Now that publication may be looming in the next 12-14 months, I have to consider what I might want those to look like.

And at the core of it all is me wishing to the highest heaven that I might be clever enough to make these things be Easter Eggs of some sort for eagle-eyed readers to pick up on, because when I think about what I'd want this series to have throughout, it'd be Easter Eggs! Whether they're simply things that point to my favorite books or TV shows or movies or whatever, or whether they foreshadow things to come in the series. I'd absolutely LOVE to be so clever and to have those sorts of things scattered throughout the books. 'Cause as a reader, I'd eat that stuff up like crazy. Especially once I learned that the author intended for there to be clues throughout the novel.

Again. My desire to be clever will likely go unsatisfied. Oh well.

In other news, I have yet to start writing book five. I've written about a dozen scenes and thought through probably a dozen more, but I have yet to sit down and actually say "Chapter One", and start writing the book. Part of this is due to my own mental capacity's limits and with several other things going on both professionally, personally, and in society, I've had trouble quieting the noise to focus on simply writing out book five. I hope and pray that November and December will prove more productive on that front.

Not that I've been unproductive on the world-building, publishing front. Like I said, I just spent over two hours learning typesetting. So I'll leave you with a quick little snapshot of "other things I've been working on that's still related to my books but not necessarily writing" stuff.


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