Naming your chapters – my opinion

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I’d like to give my opinion of giving your chapters names. I don’t think it’s wrong and that you should never do it, but I won’t do it in a full-length novel. And I’ll tell you a few reasons why.

Firstly, it is difficult to do well and takes a lot of time and effort. Secondly, if you don’t create good names, they’re going to sound awful or cheesy. Thirdly – and this is my main reason – they can act as a spoiler. I’ve had chapter names spoil what’s ahead for me so many times that I actually try not to read them. But I can’t help it. I have to read everything. It’s the way I am.

It’s distracting for me too. While I’m reading the novel, I start to wonder why the chapter has that name and how it relates to the story. I start thinking about what it could mean for the protagonist and sit and stew about it if the chapter name is a spoiler. Then I have to read the page I was just reading all over again because I wasn’t concentrating.

My advice is not to name your chapters. Do it for me.

Now, if you’ve been to Wattpad.com and read my two short stories, you’ll probably be thinking that I’m crazy. One of my stories – The Alien – has named chapters. The main reason for me doing this is that everyone else seemed to be doing it and since the stories on Wattpad are uploaded one chapter at a time and read over a long period of time by the readers, I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to help people keep track of what they’d read. The Alien was only seven chapters long and I tried not to give too much away with the names.

So I’ll say it again. I won’t ever name the chapters in a full-length novel. It’s not really needed in books meant for adults and teens.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

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