Author Topic: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?  (Read 1407 times)

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« on: November 12, 2018, 05:42:30 PM »
Is it necessary? Does it help intrigue the reader?
 
The following users thanked this post: VisitasKeat

VanessaC

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 07:15:19 PM »
I don't do it at the moment - I have a hard enough time coming up with character names sometimes, let alone chapter headings! I do label my scenes and chapters in scrivener, but that's more so I can look down the list and know roughly where everything goes, so my scenes are called things like "final battle" or something.

To be honest, as a reader, chapter titles can be really distracting - I want to get on with the story.  However, a tag or description can be really useful - where you're switching time lines and / or locations and / or characters' points of view.

But I also think it depends on genre and expectations of the genre.

Just some random (un-caffeinated) thoughts.  Grin
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

Robin

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 07:24:02 PM »
I do it in some of my novels, not in others. It's not necessary of course, but I hope it intrigues my readers.

I've never had anyone say they hated my chapter titles, but then again I've never had anyone say they liked them either which makes me think readers don't actually care that much (I read a lot and it doesn't make much difference to me).

So I suppose what I'm trying to say is if you feel like entitling chapters do it, if not its not a problem.
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 07:24:58 PM »
I don't do it at the moment - I have a hard enough time coming up with character names sometimes, let alone chapter headings! I do label my scenes and chapters in scrivener, but that's more so I can look down the list and know roughly where everything goes, so my scenes are called things like "final battle" or something.

To be honest, as a reader, chapter titles can be really distracting - I want to get on with the story.  However, a tag or description can be really useful - where you're switching time lines and / or locations and / or characters' points of view.

But I also think it depends on genre and expectations of the genre.

Just some random (un-caffeinated) thoughts.  Grin











That's what I'm thinking, it depends on genre. I usually write historical and I name the chapters, but this new one is a psychological type thriller and I just can't see titles. I looked at some popular thrillers and they seem to be named, but still not sure.
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2018, 07:26:50 PM »
As a reader, I've never really noticed to be honest. If I think about all the books on my shelf, without looking I haven't got a clue whether they have titled chapters or not, which just about says it all really.  :Healing:
 

LSMay

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 07:30:59 PM »
As a reader, I don't even read chapter titles most of the time.

As a writer, I used to do them, and I no longer do. They were helpful for my own navigation of the manuscript, but I don't think they added much (if anything) to the reader experience. For certain chapters they were somewhat difficult to come up with, and not having them saves wasting that time thinking about it.

L S May | Website | Twitter | Goodreads
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2018, 07:46:44 PM »
I name my chapters, but only because I hate looking at a table of contents and just seeing a list of numbers.  If most readers care very much one way or the other, then I have yet to hear about it.

As a reader, I always liked the chapter titles in The Lord of the Rings.
v  v  v  v  v    Short Stories    v  v  v  v  v    vv FREE! vv
     
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy (some day) | Author Website
 
The following users thanked this post: Denise, VisitasKeat

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 07:49:03 PM »
I name my chapters, but only because I hate looking at a table of contents and just seeing a list of numbers.  If most readers care very much one way or the other, then I have yet to hear about it.

As a reader, I always liked the chapter titles in The Lord of the Rings.
Well, to be honest, if I don't title the chapters, I don't bother with a table of contents. I see no point to that.
 

PaulineMRoss

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 11:35:33 PM »
I've always put chapter titles. Originally they were just an aide memoire so they were brief: At Someplace, or Moving On, or An Unexpected Meeting. It made it easier for me to find where something specific happened when I was revising. Then I just kept them in the final version, because why not?

I'm sure most readers don't notice them, but sometimes they're effective. I was reading a fantasy book once, just about to put it down for the night, and then I discovered that the next chapter was called 'An Encounter with a Dragon'. Well, could anyone stop at that point? I couldn't!

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
Bookbub score: 4 for 75
 
The following users thanked this post: Denise

Denise

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 11:41:32 PM »
I think chapter titles can be fun, and they also help me navigate through the manuscript because the titles help me know where each part is, like Pauline.

Like Jeff, Tolkien's fun titles are an inspiration. The only Tolkien inspiration... :hehe

As a reader, I actually like to look at a table of contents and see the titles, and get a sense of the story, so it's a personal preference.
 

LilyBLily

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 11:52:25 PM »
I found Mary Stewart's epigraphs starting each chapter fascinating. That was how I first heard of The Revenger's Tragedy, and a decade later I took an entire college course in revenge tragedy because of that epigraph.

Georgette Heyer had chapter titles in some of her earlier, frothier novels. The titles were fun.

I think titles work mostly today as guideposts: It's this month, it's this place, it's day or night, etc. I've done that in some of my books, especially the ones that do not feature a lot of linear storytelling and unity of place.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Long Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 831
  • Thanked: 335 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2018, 12:34:12 AM »
I've always used titles, though I agree it isn't necessary. In ebooks, the TOC is visible in the Look Inside, which means some readers may see it pre-purchase. I try to make the titles like brief teasers to give the reader an idea of what to expect in the parts of the book that aren't in the Look Inside.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: Denise

Llano

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2018, 12:37:29 AM »
I have a series of four novels with chapter titles. Most of the time the chapter titles were no-brainers, but sometimes, like the titles of novels themselves, nothing seemed to work. I'd put in a place-holder title and move on. Eventually, they all worked out, including going back and changing the chapter 1 title of book 1 to the same as the last chapter title of book four. The entire series was all about music, so some of the chapter titles were titles of songs or operas.

Chapter titles were immensely helpful in Word's navigation pane. So much so that I decided to use them again for my next novel. That was a mistake. The chapter titles just didn't work as well. I finally gave up but discovered that using an on-the-nose chapter title (Bobby and Amy make out in the car) as a placeholder allowed the navigation pane to be even more useful than before. I leave the placeholders in until the last possible minute and then miss them terribly if I decide to make another pass.
 

formerly Sapphire

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2018, 01:09:53 AM »
Chapters aren't entitled to anything. grint They should have to go out there and do their job to make a whole book without any writer subsidies.:tap
Just kidding, of course. I like chapter titles. Now, more seriously, here's my personal opinion on the subject. To me, they not only give structure for me, they give structure for the reader.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2018, 02:07:47 AM »
As a reader, I don't bother to read them, except, of course Harry Potter. What I really pass by is the quotations at the beginning of each chapter. In one case, though, I realized years later I should have read them because they were a big clue to the background of the story.

As an author, I don't even bother to chapterize until the book is finished and edited. Then I search on the scene breaks until I find one that's a good place to put a chapter break. Saves a lot of work and a lot of redoing because editing can change so much.
           
 
The following users thanked this post: LydiaLikely

Easter IsleDan

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2018, 02:08:39 AM »
My first two published novels didn't have chapter titles, but my third did.  I don't remember when I started using them because things don't necessarily get published in the order I started writing them.  For example, my current WIP uses them, but I had started it before I wrote and published Bad Fiction which also uses chapter titles.

I use them on most of my stuff now.  I can't say whether I will always use chapter titles from now on, but I prefer using them over not using them.  As Jeff Tanyard mentioned, it makes them look more interesting than a list of chapter numbers.

Plus I always put my Table of Contents in the front of the eBook, because that's where it would be in a printed book, so it ends up showing up on the "Look Inside!"  I think it can perhaps help make the reader more curious about the book if the chapter titles arouse curiosity (without revealing spoilers).  So, in that regard, it's an extra tool to encourage people to buy.
     
 
The following users thanked this post: Maggie Ann

Vijaya

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2018, 02:41:19 AM »
For the kindle version I have titles but not for the paperback. The biggest reason is to make navigation easier if you lose your place.

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

alyson

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 02:43:18 AM »
As a reader, I love chapter titles.

They just help, since I dive in and out of so many books.

That said, chapter titles or not have never influenced a buy or KU decision.



 
The following users thanked this post: Jeff Tanyard

Rosie Scott

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 08:57:20 AM »
I don't remember ever reading a book with chapter titles. It's possible I have, and it just slipped my memory.

Anyway, I doubt I'd care either way as a reader, and I only use numbered chapters as an author. The only way chapter titles could get me to pass up a book is if it didn't have numbers as well as the titles. I have to have a sense of progression as a reader, and I remember chapter numbers. I would not remember titles. I have seen books that don't have numbered chapters/parts, and I can't imagine trying to read them. This could be a personal preference, or it could stem from my OCD (I have obsessions with numbering things and keeping track of quantitative stats even with everyday things), so I could be an outlier here.

Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi. Writer of bloody warfare & witty banter. Provoker of questions.
Rosie Scott | Website | Release Mailing List
 

Easter IsleDan

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2018, 10:00:17 AM »
The only way chapter titles could get me to pass up a book is if it didn't have numbers as well as the titles. I have to have a sense of progression as a reader, and I remember chapter numbers.

 :goodpost:

We don't have a "good point" emoji so that will have to do.  Good point, though.

I used numbers and titles.  I just have to remember to change both with each new chapter.   grint


This could be a personal preference, or it could stem from my OCD (I have obsessions with numbering things and keeping track of quantitative stats even with everyday things), so I could be an outlier here.

I keep track of things most people don't.  I simply hope that such things will be kept after I'm gone because I think somewhere down the line some historians may find it useful.
     
 

Denise

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2018, 10:56:53 AM »
The only way chapter titles could get me to pass up a book is if it didn't have numbers as well as the titles. I have to have a sense of progression as a reader, and I remember chapter numbers. I would not remember titles. I

Well, A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't have numbers...

I swear when I started reading it, I got so confused. I thought they were standard chapter titles, and it made sense that they would have characters'  names when they were introduced. But then, those chapter names kept repeating. I was like, "Wait, didn't I just read a chapter called Eddard? Why is this chapter again called Sansa?"   :icon_think: I think only after reading at least 2 or 3 chapters with each character that I understood that they were just pov markers.  :Hqn66ku:

But really, they could have numbers! Anyways, I hate the way GRRM uses pov characters to "name"  the chapters, and that there are no numbers, but that didn't stop me from reading...
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2018, 11:10:04 AM »
As an author, I don't even bother to chapterize until the book is finished and edited. Then I search on the scene breaks until I find one that's a good place to put a chapter break. Saves a lot of work and a lot of redoing because editing can change so much.


Same here.
v  v  v  v  v    Short Stories    v  v  v  v  v    vv FREE! vv
     
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy (some day) | Author Website
 

CoraBuhlert

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2018, 04:09:29 PM »
Chapter titles seem to have fallen out of favour in recent times, but I still use them, because I've always liked them. Though I use both numbers and chapter titles together.

Blog | Pegasus Pulp | Newsletter | Author Central | Twitter | Instagram
Genres: All of them, but mostly science fiction and mystery/crime
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2018, 04:32:05 PM »
Chapter titles seem to have fallen out of favour in recent times, but I still use them, because I've always liked them. Though I use both numbers and chapter titles together.
So do I. It's just that with historicals I always find it easy to come up with chapter titles, but not for this new one. We shall see; it's interesting to get everyone's perspective on it, though.
 

Simon Haynes

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2018, 07:04:05 PM »
I use them in my kids books and my 'adult' books. I like dreaming up awful puns.

On the other hand, with my regular novels I just stick with plain old 'Chapter 1', etc.
 

Michelle Louring

  • Novella unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Thanked: 51 times
  • Gender: Female
  • The owl is pure evil. Don't let him fool you.
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2018, 07:29:33 PM »
I used to do chapter titles... until I realized that since I write such short chapters, it was hell to come up with a new title for each of them  :dizzy
Point is, while I like chapter titles, I don't think they're necessary and I'm just not creative enough to do them myself.
Crazy owl lady. I also occasionally write Fantasy books, but the owl is really all anyone cares about.

https://michellelouring.com/
 

sliderule

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2018, 02:20:48 AM »
I use chapter titles as a way to fast plot or start plotting a book. I'll make the determination on whether to keep them once I'm ready to publish the book.

As a reader, I like them, but not having them doesn't bother me. I don't think they really enrich the reading experience. It's just a "hey, this is neat" sort of novelty.
 

Authoress

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2018, 03:35:44 AM »
I always do, without ever considering any pros or cons, I just do because I do :)

Easter IsleDan

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2018, 03:50:30 AM »
. . . I'm just not creative enough to do them myself.

     
 

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Thanked: 141 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2018, 04:00:07 AM »
after I'm gone because I think somewhere down the line some historians may find it useful.

I hope that after I'm gone some historians will even care what I've written.   :cheers
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 
The following users thanked this post: Doglover

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Thanked: 141 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2018, 04:04:42 AM »
I use chapter titles as a way to fast plot or start plotting a book. I'll make the determination on whether to keep them once I'm ready to publish the book.

I always wait until my final read-through to come up with my chapter titles. I don't want the title to somehow constrain me to whatever I envisioned at the start of writing each chapter.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 

veinglory

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2018, 04:26:52 AM »
Sometime I do and sometimes I don't.  It depend on whether good names come to me or it serves a purpose.
ZOMBIE lost & found https://my.w.tt/39V7zgONRU
 

Sailor Stone

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2018, 04:42:48 AM »
I always put them in novels, not necessarily in short stories or novellas. I hope the reader appreciates them but I have never been told by any that they swoon over my chapter titles.
I love coming up with them. It's one of my favorite things to do as I write.
 

She-la-te-da

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2018, 07:59:13 PM »
A writer intrigues the reader by writing an intriguing story.

For me, most things such as chapter titles, those little quotes or poems people use, even putting day/date/time/place is distracting. I don't really like images tucked into books (for chapter titles, or as scene breaks). Anything like that distracts me from the story, and writers shouldn't want to do that, even if it does "look pretty".
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 

idontknowyet

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2018, 11:51:14 PM »
I have been adding titles to everyone of my chapters. I find it easier to give them titles then I do to title a book or name a character.  The main reason for the titles is if you lose your place in the ebook. I cant tell you how many times I've set my kindle down and opened up to the end of the book.  :icon_think: Spending eons to figure out where I left off drives me nuts.   :writethink:  :dizzy  :shrug
 

idontknowyet

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2018, 11:54:21 PM »
I start each chapter with a title and an epigram. I don't think it's necessary, but it's stylistically load-bearing for me.

Oh, I love when books add epigrams (new word for me. I love learning things here) to books as long as it makes sense or adds to the story. I read an author that added quotes that made no sense at all. I spent hours trying to figure out how it related and got nowhere very very very frustrating.
 
The following users thanked this post: Joseph Malik

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Thanked: 141 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2018, 04:45:58 AM »
Oh, I love when books add epigrams (new word for me. I love learning things here) to books as long as it makes sense or adds to the story. I read an author that added quotes that made no sense at all. I spent hours trying to figure out how it related and got nowhere very very very frustrating.

I just finished a book about time travel and every chapter began with an epigram from a non-existent book, the diary of the man that invented time travel. You kind of needed to pay attention to the epigrams because if you didn't, you could end up in all kinds of trouble when you blink to a new time period.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 
The following users thanked this post: Jeff Tanyard, Joseph Malik

Vijaya

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2018, 01:12:28 PM »
I start each chapter with a title and an epigram. I don't think it's necessary, but it's stylistically load-bearing for me.

Oh, I love when books add epigrams (new word for me. I love learning things here) to books as long as it makes sense or adds to the story. I read an author that added quotes that made no sense at all. I spent hours trying to figure out how it related and got nowhere very very very frustrating.

The Secret Life of Bees has this and it's relevant. Beautifully done!

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

Crystal

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2018, 10:52:02 AM »
As a reader, I find them obnoxious. I don't mind so much if there's a number and a title, but I don't like a complete lack of numbers. It makes it harder to gauage where I am in the book.

As an author, I don't really see the point. If I thought titles would add to the story, I'd consider it. But they strike me as trying too hard to be clever and that's not the tone I want to hit.
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2018, 06:33:41 PM »
As a reader, I find them obnoxious. I don't mind so much if there's a number and a title, but I don't like a complete lack of numbers. It makes it harder to gauage where I am in the book.

As an author, I don't really see the point. If I thought titles would add to the story, I'd consider it. But they strike me as trying too hard to be clever and that's not the tone I want to hit.
I'm not suggesting using titles instead of chapter numbers, rather as well as to tease the potential reader with what is likely to come. I never thought of my methods as being obnoxious, but I'll certainly give it some thought.  :tap
 

Writer

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2018, 06:41:44 PM »
My problem with chapter titles is that so many are mini-spoilers for what's about to happen. It's super annoying to go into each chapter already knowing what's going to take place in it. I want to be surprised.

It'd be okay if it was done in a subtle way where you don't understand the title until after reading the chapter. And it'd be okay if there was something cute or cool about the titling, so that it actually improved the experience. But I never see that. I just see spoilers that add nothing and take away a lot.

ETA: Reading over everyone else's responses, it seems like the teaser aspect is what others like, so I might just be weird. I don't even read reviews, because I can't stand to see hints of what's ahead. The cover and blurb give all the info I want.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 07:05:13 PM by Writer »
 
The following users thanked this post: VisitasKeat

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2018, 06:45:53 PM »
My problem with chapter titles is that so many are mini-spoilers for what's about to happen. It's super annoying to go into each chapter already knowing what's going to take place in it. I want to be surprised.

It'd be okay if it was done in a subtle way where you don't understand the title until after reading the chapter. And it'd be okay if there was something cute or cool about the titling, so that it actually improved the experience. But I never see that. I just see spoilers that add nothing and take away a lot.
I don't think mine are spoilers. As a for instance, the very first English person to have been reported as having the disease now known as the Black Death, was the King's daughter, Joan. My chapter is entitled 'Death of a Princess'. Would you call that a spoiler or a teaser?
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2018, 06:49:37 PM »
Oh, I love when books add epigrams (new word for me. I love learning things here) to books as long as it makes sense or adds to the story. I read an author that added quotes that made no sense at all. I spent hours trying to figure out how it related and got nowhere very very very frustrating.

I just finished a book about time travel and every chapter began with an epigram from a non-existent book, the diary of the man that invented time travel. You kind of needed to pay attention to the epigrams because if you didn't, you could end up in all kinds of trouble when you blink to a new time period.
That could be very clever, but as you say, of no use if you didn't pay attention to the titles.

One of my books is about Anne Boleyn and I asked a friend to read the manuscript, to see how it grabbed her and point out any mistakes. As so many people had the same names then, I put the full name of the character in the title but not in the text. She got confused between her and another character with the same name, because she didn't read the title. I ended up putting the full name in the text.
 

Writer

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2018, 07:02:15 PM »
I don't think mine are spoilers. As a for instance, the very first English person to have been reported as having the disease now known as the Black Death, was the King's daughter, Joan. My chapter is entitled 'Death of a Princess'. Would you call that a spoiler or a teaser?

If the princess is a main character, I would find it spoilery to be told in advance that she's going to die in the next few pages. On the other hand, if she's not an important character and her death is just the beginning of the real main character's story, it wouldn't bother me.
 

Doglover

  • Short Story unlocked
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Gender: Female
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • Margaret Brazear
Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2018, 07:22:49 PM »
I don't think mine are spoilers. As a for instance, the very first English person to have been reported as having the disease now known as the Black Death, was the King's daughter, Joan. My chapter is entitled 'Death of a Princess'. Would you call that a spoiler or a teaser?

If the princess is a main character, I would find it spoilery to be told in advance that she's going to die in the next few pages. On the other hand, if she's not an important character and her death is just the beginning of the real main character's story, it wouldn't bother me.
No, she's not in the story at all. She actually contracted the disease in France on her way to be married and she was the first English person to die of the pestilence, although she wasn't in England at the time. It was the first knowledge of this disease.
 

ragdoll

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2018, 01:46:51 AM »
I did it on a couple of books for atmosphere and I didn't receive complaints. And I liked doing them. Also helped with edits as they were reminders of mood and tone.

In fact, maybe I should make a rule that if a chapter isn't worth entitling, it isn't worth writing :D
 
The following users thanked this post: sliderule, VisitasKeat, cecilia_writer, Sailor Stone, Joseph Malik

Gaylord Fancypants

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2018, 04:53:56 AM »
I always do it. It's a way to inject more content into a story, and it helps the reader focus on the most important thing. Having a theme to chapter titles is helpful too -- like if the book is mainly about a princess breaking out of her society-approved royal role, having each chapter be titled after a royal tradition or expectation that she subverts in that chapter will focus the reader's attention on that.
 
The following users thanked this post: Doglover, Joseph Malik, ragdoll

Crystal

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2018, 09:07:16 AM »
My problem with chapter titles is that so many are mini-spoilers for what's about to happen. It's super annoying to go into each chapter already knowing what's going to take place in it. I want to be surprised.

It'd be okay if it was done in a subtle way where you don't understand the title until after reading the chapter. And it'd be okay if there was something cute or cool about the titling, so that it actually improved the experience. But I never see that. I just see spoilers that add nothing and take away a lot.

ETA: Reading over everyone else's responses, it seems like the teaser aspect is what others like, so I might just be weird. I don't even read reviews, because I can't stand to see hints of what's ahead. The cover and blurb give all the info I want.

It's not just you. I don't like it either. But I typically ignore chapter titles, so it's not a big deal (if there are numbers. Do not get me started on the authors who don't use numbers at all).
 

ragdoll

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2018, 03:38:25 PM »
I don't think mine give anything away, especially in my 3-book series. (In part because I had a multi-character cast, lots of POV characters in the books, both good guys and bad guys.)

Here's a sampling from that series

Book 1
[chunk from end of 1st 3d but in order]
Rolling the Dice
House of Memories
The Juiciest Fruit
In a Yellow Wood


Book 2
[chunk from the middle]
Patch
Trick or Treat
A Walk Among the Wolves


Book 3
[random chunks]
Candid Camera, Apocalypse Edition

High School Reunions Are the Worst
[followed by]
Visiting Team

BOHICA Bow Wow

Discharged Up

*****

Some of them are almost philosophical :D
 

kdiem

Re: What does everyone think about entitling chapters?
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2018, 01:14:01 AM »
I  do them for myself  to keep track of what happens in each chapter, then change them to just numbers before I release.

Author. Bibliophile. Fangirl.
Karen Diem | website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
 
The following users thanked this post: ragdoll