To Name or Not To Name…
Yup, that’s the question. With regards to chapter names, that is. With my novel, I’m pondering whether to use chapter names, or just stick with numbers for my second-draft rewrite. To help me make a decision, I thought I draw up an pros and cons table.
Pros of having chapter names:
- makes the contents page far more interesting.
- adds another dimension to the story (i.e. reader can make guesses as to what the chapter’s about, suspense can be built up (i.e. ‘Many Deaths’ as a chapter title), etc..)
- Makes chapter headings more interesting and far less bland.
- Readers would be more likely to remember chapters, having words to associate with it rather than just plain numbers (for example, “Have you read chapter 32? I really like the bit where the mutant orange jumps out of the window” compared to “Have you read ‘fruity base jumping?’ I really like the bit where the mutant orange jumps out of the window”).
- For the above reason, it would engage readers a lot better than the alternative.
Cons of having chapter names:
- Since I’ve got 41 chapters in my book, it’s going to be difficult to have lots of fresh, original names.
- As the first book is likely to be part of a series, it means that, if I do chapter names for this book, I’ve got to do it for all of them. And they’re probably only going to get longer…
- Can ‘spoil’ a chapter.
- Just another thing that could take away my concentration required to edit and produce a good story.
Having come up with the list, though, I’ve realised that I still have no idea what to do. I think I’m leaning slightly towards having chapter names, but It could potentially be a lot of extra work.
What do you think? Names, or no names? I’d appreciate any form of feedback you would be willing to give.
Alternatively, feel free to use the private contact form below to send me a more detailed response.