Before you publish your novel on Amazon Kindle, you may be faced with the question of whether you want to name your chapters.
Naming your chapters is a dilemma that many writers deliberate over. The opinion is somewhat divided. Some readers find chapter titles enhance the story, and others find them too directive or distracting. Others don’t even notice them.
Chapters are a useful way to give your readers a break and can help you plot your novel successfully. If you do decide to name your chapter titles you should do so in a way that will make your readers want to keep on reading.
Here are some useful strategies to try:
A dialogue snippet
This is a smart strategy that can help readers get excited about the story. Pick a snippet of exciting dialogue that occurs in the chapter and make that your chapter title. This works particularly well if your chapter is dialogue-heavy and lots of drama occurs in dialogue exchanges.
A single word title to encapsulate a theme
If there is a particular theme or significance in your chapters, pick the single word that perfectly encapsulates them and make this your chapter title. Titles such as ‘Chaos,’ ‘Cruelty,’ ‘Acceptance,’ ‘Remembering,’ and so on can work well and give readers an indication of what to expect next.
Authors who use multiple points of view to tell their stories often wait for a chapter break to switch between them. You can title your chapters accordingly to help signpost to the reader that a change in POV is about to occur – this helps them main clear about who is saying what.
Time and place indicator
Your chapter titles can also be helpful if your book is set in different locations or time is significant in your book. Your time and place locations could be chronological, say for example, if the events unraveled over one day or a week each chapter could represent the passing of an hour or a day. If your story jumps through time and has many different locations, naming your chapters accordingly can help keep readers on track.
To build your world
Lastly, you may wish to use chapter naming as an opportunity to build up your world. This is particularly helpful in fantasy novels where chapters can introduce new, fantastic places and characters, and help to give readers a sense of grounding by naming the chapters after the place or person that it’s about.
If you want to use chapter titles in your work, you can use the above as a guide to see what might work best. Good luck!
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