Naming chapters pros and cons

by Jacob
(Fouke, AR, USA)

Question: What is the pros and cons of naming the chapters? Is it suggested to do so? Or something that isn't really needed? Thanks.


Answer: It's certainly not necessary to name chapters. Numbering will suffice to help readers keep track of their progress in the story.

Chapter titles may add something of value if they contribute to the style or voice of the story. For instance, titles that are whimsical, humourous, ominous, melodramamtic, witty, overly formal, or that imitate a particular historical period may be appropriate in certain types of novels. For instance, 18th century novels sometimes had very long chapter titles that "set the stage" for the reader. If you are writing historical fiction, you might choose to imitate that style.

You may also use chapter titles to foreshadow events in the chapters -- to create anticipation or suspense. (E.g. "Chapter 6: In which John receives a mysterious package." or "Chapter 10: Disaster!")

However, don't feel obliged to use chapter titles if they don't strike you as making a significant contribution to the story. Novels with chapter titles are in the minority.

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