Jump to content
Phy

Chapter Titles

Recommended Posts

Personally, I like using chapter titles for my own use. David Farland agrees.
https://mailchi.mp/xmission/david-farlands-writing-tips-chapter-titles?e=c5aab9d85b
 

Quote

 

Chapter Titles

There are a couple of good reasons to title your chapters.

First of all, when you are writing a novel, you often want to “hook” your reader into reading the next chapter. A good chapter title can do that. You don’t have to work hard at it. Something as simple as “A Killer Unmasked” promises the reader that if he or she continues on, the killer in the story will be revealed in that chapter. It’s subtle, simple, and quick.

It can also be a pain for the writer. Many times, I’ve asked authors why they didn’t title their chapters, and the response has been, “Well, I tried, but I never could think of a great title for chapter seven.” I’ve been there, done that myself. In that case, don’t look for a great title, just look for any title that might act as a hook.

Of course, the chapter title isn’t the only hook. You can load them into the opening prose itself so that you hook the reader dozens of ways.

The second reason to title your chapters has to do with the editing process. Imagine that you’ve decided, “Oh, I need to go back and show that my character Joe gets in a bad mood when he hasn’t had coffee.” You say, “I know just the place to do it—in that scene where he gets out of bed in the morning. Now where was that?”

If you just have numbers for your chapters, you probably won’t remember that it was in chapter 37. But the chapter titles provide something of an outline for you. It helps you recall how you’ve ordered your novel. So you can very easily remember, “Oh, yeah, it was in that chapter 'A Killer Unmasked.'”

So make life easy for yourself: Title your chapters!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like using pulp fictiony chapter titles.

image.png.0ceadd6eb9ed4b54fa3a08a15cc8a74a.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Furthermore, I also like using pulpy section titles.
image.thumb.png.6338372ab470fd06f70b47c2b7bad818.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could only wish to do something like this.  Frankly, I can't even pick a good title for the book itself.  Although, everyone here had great ideas.  I am not that talented.  ☹️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Alley said:

Frankly, I can't even pick a good title for the book itself.


Actually, I'm glad you brought that up. I'm still wrestling with that myself. I personally like THE ANTHROPOMORPHIC DETECTIVE (as the book is homage to THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE) but I'm practically the only one. Most everyone seems to like THE GOLEM GUMSHOE (except for me). Considering that my one-off book is now a looking to become a trilogy, I could see THE BLUE GOLEM, THE RED SWORD, and THE WOMAN IN GREEN, something like that, but THE BLUE GOLEM then misses that PI element which exist in the other two.

So I toss up my hands, give it up to God, and keep writing. One presumes I'll figure this all out by the time I'm ready to publish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Phy said:

give it up to God,

The only place it ever needs to be.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love, absolutely love chapter titles,...it's such a great way to add depth as you advance the plot!

For my book, I chose to eliminate chapter numbers and just go with chapter titles. Although, I do admit, there is always that pesky chapter or two that is difficult to title. Condensing the essence of the chapter into a sentence, or even poem was helpful when I'd get stuck. Also, I used snatches from quotes (Shakespeare, so I am copyright safe),...that also fit perfectly into the plotting. Who knew the chapter title: Good Sentences, Well Pronounced,...could be taken from Shakespeare - Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 2?

My book title is: Becoming Portia,...so it's a great fit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Katherine Johnston said:

Also, I used snatches from quotes (Shakespeare, so I am copyright safe),...that also fit perfectly into the plotting.

Nice.  It sounds like you really enjoyed doing this.  Good for you.  :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I Am Nailed to the Hull" from guest host Marty Palin, SNL sketch.

 

One plotting system I followed suggested fifty chapters with titles. I always wanted to use this one, so I thought about a scene where aliens hacked into the protag's spacesuit controls and locked his magnetic boots to the asteroid's exterior, not understanding that they were nearly killing him as the spin pumped his blood into his brain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EClayRowe said:

One plotting system I followed suggested fifty chapters with titles. I always wanted to use this one, so I thought about a scene where aliens hacked into the protag's spacesuit controls and locked his magnetic boots to the asteroid's exterior, not understanding that they were nearly killing him as the spin pumped his blood into his brain.

Accidentally Bloody Lobotomy???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, EClayRowe said:

not understanding that they were nearly killing him as the spin pumped his blood into his brain.

Did they care?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've only included chapter titles in my two full length, self published novels, because they were requested by createspace.com.  My novel concerning overpopulation is titled "We the People Are Good to Eat".

The novel's chapter titles are as follows:

 

1.  "More Meat to Eat"                 10.  Extended Stay                               19.  Historic Journey

2.  Homecoming Dance             11.  Protocol U.                                      20. Magic City

3.  Principal's Office                     12.  "Lost and Frightened"                   21.  Making an Impression

4.  Girl's Gym                                13.   Accommodations                        22.  A Matter of Conscience

5.  Harvested                               14.  'It's Happened Again."                   23.  Sunday

6.  "I Want to Celebrate"            15.  "People From Hell."                        24.  "No Longer a Wussy"

7.  Principal's Office Again         16.  "'Unbridgeable Gap'?"                   25.  "Healthy Bloodlust"

8.  Glad He Ate Her.                    17.  "Welcome to Paradise!"             26.  "The Way Things are Done"

9.  Weekend Excursion             18.  World Turned Upside Down        27.   "Zabelton"

 

So I wonder.  Does anyone find these chapter titles interesting enough to make him or her want to give the novel a look? 

I also apologize if anyone on this Christian website finds some of these chapter titles offensive.  It's just that when I'm being creative, I just let my imagination go wherever it will; and if often just goes wild.

Edited by William D'Andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

Did they care?

I didn't get that far yet. They were supposed to be benevolent, trying to get him outside the ship's network to communicate with him. Not understanding that inside the crunchy shell is a soft creamy inside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EClayRowe said:

Not understanding that inside the crunchy shell is a soft creamy inside.

No, please!  Have mercy on the poor little M&M!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Thing about aliens is they're alien."

 

But they obey the laws of God that they know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×