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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

To Title Your Chapters...Or Not?

Someone I know recently questioned whether it was necessary to title chapters of novels. Some fellow writers commented that they never title their chapters; others said they routinely did. I'm all for "to each his own;" however, after writing and publishing four books, ( with a fifth nearing completion ) I find chapter titles incredibly helpful.

Here are a few of my reasons:
     1)  Chapter titles give your readers a better sense of the tone of your book. Is it scholarly, comedic, dark, etc.?
     2)  They whet the reader's appetite and make them want to read the book--as does the cover and the backcover blurb.
     3)  They give you, the author, a means of clarifying and/or summing up the theme of each chapter.
     4)  They give your book a sense of order and direction; in other words, they let your potential readers know that the author is well aware of where this book is going!

To give you examples of the above, here's a list of the chapter titles from my latest novel, a spaceopera titled Galaxy Rand:

   1---Out With the Trash
   3---Close Quarters
   4---Five Million Credits
   5---The Black Hole
   7---The Asteroid Eater
   8---Old Rat Eyes
   9---Outta the Frying Pan
   10--Lab Rats
   11--Course Corrections
   14--Mop Up Operations

I think that gives you a pretty good idea of the reasons why I title my chapters. But whether or not you choose to do so, the process is entirely up to your creative expression. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Anyway, keep on writing, and keep reading!