Insert Title Here.

I’m going to make today’s post pretty short and sweet, as I have to go off and get ready for work soon, but there was a topic that’s been dancing around my mind for a while. Not much of a topic, though, so that makes it perfect for a day like today. And that topic is Chapter Titles.

Chapter Titles. Some authors use them, some authors don’t. Some authors probably love them, too, while an equal amount despise them, and an equal amount still are fairly indifferent to them. I realize I tend to lean more toward indifferent, myself; I certainly have nothing again Chapter Titles and have realized that I more than often simply forget they are there than anything else. But I have been wondering if I want to use chapter titles, especially since I’ve outlined the reboot of Serpent in a Cage.

It seems that, with Chapter Titles, the author gives the reader a little hint of what to expect. Without them, the reader is left to discover everything on their own. I keep flip-flopping back on whether or not I want Chapter Titles, if it really matters, so on and so forth, so I was wondering what everyone else thought of Chapter Titles. Do you have a strong opinion one way or the other? Do you use them? Do you notice them? Do you feel that they change how you approach a chapter when you have a Chapter Title?

And here’s an interesting one, too, that I’ve been considering. What about a Prologue and an Epilogue with titles, but no titles on the actual chapters? That’s what I’ve been leaning toward for SiaC, since I feel the Prologue and Epilogue would benefit from a title, but that it’s kind of superfluous for the chapters themselves. Has anyone encountered anything like that before?

Yes, this is how I spend most of me free moments, thinking about chapter titles. Sigh.


  1. Chapter numbers are fine for me and I like short chapters because I do short reads throughout the day and don’t lose fluency by having to stop mid chapter when reading in short sessions.

  2. This is for you my dear Laura… from John Updike…. for inspiration and encouragement… Keep Writing!!

    I seem most instinctively to believe in the human value of creative writing, whether in the form of verse or fiction, as a mode of truth-telling, self-expression and homage to the twin miracles of creation and consciousness. The special value of these indirect methods of communication — as opposed to the value of factual reporting and analysis — is one of precision. Oddly enough, the story or poem brings us closer to the actual texture and intricacy of experience.

  3. I personally like chapter titles, although the book I just finished doesn’t have any. It just depends on the novel’s personality I suppose. However, I don’t remember ever reading any novels where the prologue or epilogue were titled; to me that would make them additional chapters not supportive elements to the novel. But different is good. Go with your heart.

  4. I have a hard enough time thinking of titles for my BOOKS. LOL.

    Actually, I don’t care one way or another if there are chapter titles. Most books I read don’t have them, but they don’t bother me. Neither do they excite me. So I say, do what feels right for your book.

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