The Case for Chapter Titles

This is a delightful discussion about the merits of chapter titles. I must admit that I’ve been hesitant to use these as I feel I might give away too much to the reader. However, I am using them in my current WIP and these points are excellent considerations, especially for an ebook format and added power to searches. At the same time, ebooks are very searchable so chapters may not add that much on such a point. Otherwise, i don’t disagree with much written in this post Marcia Meara. Read it over on Story Empire…

Story Empire

Hi, Folks! It’s Marcia again, and today, I’d like to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a long time. Chapter Titles.

I’ve been reading for over 70 years. That’s a lot of pages turned. A. Lot. And along the way, I’ve made a few observations, to wit:

  • Some writers are better than others.
  • Some books speak to me and some don’t.
  • Some stories have taught me important lessons on life and love.
  • And some characters will live in my heart forever.

But to this day, I’m still looking for the answer to this: why on earth do so many writers choose not to name the chapters in their books? It’s a puzzler to me.  As far back as Dickens and earlier, some writers did and some didn’t. The same thing is true today.

Heads up. I’m on a roll, now.

This lack of chapter titles has been…

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2 comments

  1. Thanks so much for passing it along, P. H. I’m glad you found it interesting.

    As for eBooks, yes, they are searchable, but if you don’t know which chapter you’re looking for, a title rather than a number can sure help, especially if you have trouble remembering wording that would help pinpoint it.

    I think you can control how much you give away in your titles, too, while still being intriguing. For instance, a chapter named “I Want Witnesses Nearby” doesn’t give away a whole lot. Who’s speaking? What are they going to do that they need witnesses? Things like that. But it’s always up to the author as to whether they think they can use them effectively.

    For me, I feel like I have nothing to lose by using them, and the potential to gain a lot. And I was happily surprised to see how many folks popped by to say they love them. All of that, and they are so much fun to do, I can’t resist. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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