RB: Chapter Titles

I’ve been reading an abundance of YA novels lately and most every one contains a title for each chapter. I didn’t give it much thought until I started to write my own YA. So I looked through my collection of older young adult novels and realized it’s a trend.

Is this something I need to do with my own story? What’s the significance other than a way for authors to stay on task with the chapter’s goal? And why should I name chapters for my young adult novels but not the ones geared toward adults?

When I see a chapter title, I read it over and then promptly forget about it as I’m pulled back into the story. Truthfully I don’t even like them. I rarely read the back cover blurbs of books, too. I like to be totally surprised about what’s going to happen. Although I was listening to Breaking Dawn on audio book last week and laughed out loud a few times at the chapter titles for Book Two: Jacob. My favorite was for Chapter 10: “Why Didn’t I Just Walk Away? Oh Right, Because I’m An Idiot.”

Do you find chapter titles helpful when you write? Or read? Are there any names of chapters that you’ve found funny or memorable?

9 thoughts on “RB: Chapter Titles

  1. I have never thought much about chapter titles, but from now on I will notice them. I read a lot of Y/A and have 9 novels of my own. I don’t use titles myself, but I think if they’re quirky and add to the story without giving anything away they’d be ok.

  2. Great replies before I got here, made me think.
    I was all set to say “no, can’t stand ’em, don’t do it.”
    But now, hmmm.

    (who thinks that hanging out with authours and their fans is very informative)

    • I agree, Julie. Both Emmy and Zen A. have valid points. I never even thought of using chapter titles as a search focal point. And I like Zen A.’s idea about using only quirky titles-those could be really fun to create. -RB

  3. I love quirky chapter titles. They don’t really need to add to the story or anything, but they’re just fun to have around. A favourite book of mine titled “Things My Girlfriend and I Argued About” has the best chapter titles. Example: “The Cleaners Won’t Like It – I’ll Tell You That For Nothing” or “It’s the Quality Time I Fear the Most.” 😀

    • 🙂 I could get use to chapter titles that were fun and mainly used as decoration. Unlike the book that I just finished with titles such as The Blood Ceremony or The Bonding. Bo-ring. And I knew exactly what was coming up. I hated it. -RB

  4. I do like chapter titles, if only to quickly find my way back to some part of the story. Then they are a lot more helpful than just ‘chapter 12’.

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