Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inquiring Mind Seeks Input

The chapters in my WIP do not have names.  I don't plan to name them, though I have ideas for things I could do based on the novel's content. 

I'm not sure why I pondered this today.  But I did.

It got me thinking...

Fellow writers: What are your thoughts on naming chapters?  Is this something you do while drafting your manuscript?  How do you decide if chapter names are appropriate?  Do you have a preference?

Fellow readers: Do chapter names add to (or subtract from) your reading experience?  Do you have a preference?

I'm curious what insight/opinions others have on this topic.

Have a great weekend!


  1. As a writer I have never named my chapters before, BUT in my current WIP, about a journey along the old Silk Road, the chapters are named for what day it is on the journey.

    As a reader, chapter names have both annoyed me and interested me. Some I've found necessary, like a nonfiction chronicle of an event such as the assassination of MLK. Some have irritated me like when the author used stanzas of poetry to name the chapters. I'm making sense and not confusing you. :)

  2. er... that should read I hope I'm making sense. LOL I need some sleep big time.

  3. I don't usually name my chapters, although I have in my most recent. The titles are just dates and timelines.

    As a reader, I'm not bothered. I never remember the titles once I start reading the chapters anyway.

  4. I don't name mine either. I usually don't pay attention when reading.

  5. I used to name mine, and had fun being what I thought was "clever." Maybe, but nowadays I don't bother. Most YA book chapters are NOT titled, and what I hate most about titles is that often they give away what the chapter is about. Arghhh!!!

  6. I did have names for chapters in my first wip. When I was on a revise/resubmit, the agent wanted me to cut them, so I did. By the time it reached my current agent, they were just numbered, as they still are. I have no plans to ever name a chapter again. That said, my son (age 9)loves everything by Rick Riordan and the chapter names not only make him laugh, but suck him in. I can see it being very appealing to the younger set.

  7. As a MG writer, I find chapter titles to be very useful. As Michele mentioned before me, they can be used to draw the reader in, and I have found it best to name my chapters AFTER I've finished the chapter. It's so much easier. Cool post, Paul.


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