Chapters in 'Abyssal Sanctuary'

So the chapter scheme for my novel is slightly different than most novels. I tried the whole chapter after chapter approach and while it did kind of work for my third draft, I was a little bored while writing the fourth draft. I realised with the help of feedback that the story was a little hard to follow because of different character storylines all happening at the same time. Somebody who read it enjoyed it, but found herself getting a little confused at times trying to keep up with the many conflicting storylines.

After reading George R. R. Martin's 'A Song of Fire and Ice' series, I loved the whole 1 character chapter structure. I thought it was really well done and was very easy to follow when all you had to focus on in that one chapter is the one character and their storyline. Then the next chapter would be a different character and their storyline, and so on. I liked the idea of 1 chapter 1 character, though it didn't solve all of my problems because these five main characters would interact a lot more than they do in A Song of Fire and Ice, and I didn't want to keep repeating myself.

I decided to split my book into sections. First I have the Prologue. It sets up the story. It features an event that will put everything that happens in the book in motion. Then I have the first main character - Justin Rutherford. He has his own section consisting of 6 chapters. I thought it would be better for me to have character sections so I can let their storyline play through without stopping and starting. Then I have Christina Mayer, who also has 6 chapters in her section. Then I have Eric Watson, again with 6 chapters, then Carmen Stevens, until finally we reach Tiffany Hawkins, all with 6 chapters each. It's important to note that I follow a strict timeline. Each chapter ends in a cliffhanger that is usually followed up on in the next chapter, with the timeline detailing the first night and then the second day up until the night time. Each character's section begins with the event that happened in the Prologue, each in their own perspective, which leads into their own personal storylines. Another event happens at the end of each character chapter that draws them all together.

This will lead into the climax of the story, the final 3 chapters for the Epilogue. The final three chapters deals with the main mystery of the novel and answers some questions as things are put in perspective when all main characters are together to tell their own stories about what happened during the night and day since the opening event. This helps bring the readers up to speed about what they should know and how the characters move forward. The events that follows is pivotal as a showdown occurs with some shocking revelations.

Here is a complete rundown of the chapters for Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned.

01. A Nightmare on Meadow Falls

Part I: Justin Rutherford
02. The Night Softly Whispers
03. At the Behest of Their Death
04. Someone is Always Watching
05. There's No Place Like Home
06. Do Dreams Bleed?
07. Someone's Coming

Part II: Christina Mayer
08. The Night Softly Whispers
09. Prey
10. There's No Such Thing as an Empty House
11. A Rush of Blood to the Head
12. Living Doll
13. In the Room Where You Sleep

Part III: Eric Watson
14. The Night Softly Whispers
15. Seeing Red
16. What Do You Go Home To?
17. Dead Meat
18. Welcome to the Funhouse
19. A Game of Cat and Mouse

Part IV: Carmen Stevens
20. The Night Softly Whispers
21. In This Home of Murder
22. What They Don't Know
23. Before the Night is Over
24. To Love is To Bury
25. This Sorrowful Life

Part V: Tiffany Hawkins
26. The Night Softly Whispers
27. The Show Must Go On
28. At My Window, Sad and Lonely
29. May the Silence Be Broken
30. Now You Know
31. The Trick is to Keep Breathing

Part VI: Epilogue
32. Wake Up and Smell the Carcass
33. The House in the Woods
34. Darkness on the Edge of Town

Chapter names are usually inspired by song titles and television show episode names that relate to what happens in each chapter.

Have a good night, everyone!