1. Breasbooks
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    Breasbooks Member

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    Chapter titles, Neccesary or not?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Breasbooks, Dec 11, 2012.

    Some of the books in my genre (science fiction) use chapter titles and some don't. What is your opinion? My chapter titles feel somewhat half-hearted and cheesy. Am I better off without them?
     
  2. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    I find chapter titles, even ones including the day and time of the story events, to be quite valuable to me for working with the manuscript.

    When it is done, you need to decide if the titles add anything for the reader, and drop them if not. My critique group advised me to simplify my titles, especially by dropping the day/time info, but seemed ok with keeping something more than the chapter number.
     
  3. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Not necessary to have chapter titles. Some writers do it to show a switch in POV, others about subject matter, but they're not a requirement.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not.
     
  5. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I just use chapter numbers now. I think titles, as you say, come across as cheesy. They may even give away what happens later in the book, if they're too informative. Having just numbers removes any risk of that happening.
     
  6. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    I think you have answered your own question!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    generally not done for the adult market, but fairly common for little kids and YA...
     
  8. phil1923
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    phil1923 New Member

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    Maybe you should get some opinions on the specific chapter titles you have chosen. What if everyone else likes them except for you?
     
  9. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I don't use them (save in my first book where I used quotes). And the only reason I would go for them would be if I thought they added something to the book.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  10. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I'm keeping them in my first book, which is structured as a series of interconnected short stories.

    My current work won't have them, but I'm using them during the writing to help with reference.
     
  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It depends I guess. In my particular collection I have a whole range of adult books with chapter titles. From Everything is Illuminated to The Beach, Naked Lunch, and American Psycho
     
  12. rw207
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    rw207 New Member

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    It depends on the tone of your book. If you said yourself they sound cheesy, you are obviously forcing them and you would probably be better off without them. On the other hand, they can be useful for clarity and orientation purposes for both writer and reader. For now, you should probably just proceed without them, and then see if they come in handy at a later stage. :)
     
  13. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I would say not, some books don't even have definite chapters. But I would say pre production chapter titles can help when writing. You find your place and keep tabs on your scenes and locate events. So when returning to the manuscript you can go straight to the correct place without going hmmmm...now what page was that scene.
     
  14. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    They're part of your tool kit. There's no obligation to use them.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i did say 'generally'...
     
  16. Breasbooks
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    Breasbooks Member

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    Thanks all for your thoughts. For now, I think I will go without.
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Which implies it is uncommon, while in my particular collection it is very common.
     
  18. Madmurdock
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    Madmurdock New Member

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    I've never really like chapter subtitles. I see them as mini spoilers in some cases. Some writers completely abuse them although, got to admit, sometimes they can be a neat little hook that makes me want to continue.
     
  19. ZarisRedmist
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    ZarisRedmist Member

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    I believe it can work both ways for your story but if your not careful then it could possibly end up ruining it. Naturally I am talking about if you try to name a chapter that has no business being named in your book then you could throw the entire feel of the book off. However, I have to say that if you are going to name your chapters besure to write out the chapter first and read it figure out what the plot of that chapter is then try to name it so it flows with the chapter but you also must be sure to make sure it flows with the rest of your book and chapters as well. Of course this is probably me just over thinking the issue. I personally would rather read a book with numbers for the chapters than titles.
     

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