I pride myself on my page/chapter titles. I'm really not sure if people appreciate how damn clever they are (haha).
There are a number of exceptions, but the general trend which I try to maintain is that the titles are idioms/phrases that relate both literally and figuratively to the content of the chapter. There are loads and loads of examples, but here are just a few:
- Sage Advice: Jarrah is a sage, giving advice, which happens to be wise, so it's sage. Yeah.
- Lone Wolf: Dechar is on his own for the first time in this chapter, so he is a lone wolf, but this also shows that he is quite capable and driven and courageous when faced with solitude, not seeking comfort in others, much like a figurative lone wolf.
- Open Book: in this chapter, Keon opens up to Oliana about his past, becoming an open book, but Oliana also opens a book of key importance, Faeries and Other Magical Creatures, which explains the Boobrie.
- Trial by Fire: Oliana has one of her first major independent trials when she saves Keon from the flames, but it's also a trial by fire in that she is thrown into this situation with little notice.
- In the Dark: Dechar is "in the dark" about Oliana's plans to part ways with him, but they're also literally standing in the dark when she's thinking about the separation.
- A Tight Spot: Oliana is put in a tough situation when Keon threatens to leave the group, and she is put in a tight spot when she is forced to seek him out. But, y'know, when she found him between a literal rock and a hard place, it was a tight squeeze. Why yes, this book is a bit cheesier and less dignified than you initially thought.
There are also a couple of pairs of chapters which are half-sayings put together. These chapters are often very related to each other, not just in the chronological flow of events, but in other ways. Examples include:
Bend and Break
Tying Up and Loose Ends
Half-truths and Conflictions
One of the most unique chapter titles by far is that of The Thief You Cannot Banish. This ties together the themes of time, banditry, and even the loss of childhood, and I took it from a poem called Ballade of Lost Objects by Phyllis McGinley. Speaking of which, the next page I add to this work will likely relate to the literary references or perhaps other inspiration I've used to write The Bandit Queen. Stay tuned!