Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chapter Titles: Love em or Leave em?

I'm a bit torn on this subject. For me, it's a love/hate relationship.

I love chapter titles that are cute/funny/witty/short. I like when a chapter title gives me a hint about what is going to happen in the chapter and makes me want to readitrightthissecond. I recently read a romance novel about a baseball player and the beginning of every chapter had a funny baseball related quote. Cute. The Pretty Little Liars series chapter titles were intriguing and sometimes funny, I liked them consistently throughout the books.

I hate chapter titles that are long/boring/unrelated/distracting. I hate when a chapter title refers to something that does happen in the chapter, but that doesn't make sense until after you've finished reading the chapter. I think it's distracting when you're looking for what the chapter title is talking about. Or the times when you are looking and never find it and realize that the title really just doesn't make sense. It's rare, but it's happened.

I wish I could write the cute/witty/hinting chapter titles. I might think of one or two, but usually somewhere in the middle I forget about them all together. Therefore, half of my MS is chapters like "Hell-O?" and half is plain old Chapter 10.

So, what do you think? Do you use them, start out with them, add them later? Or do plain old numbers?


Deb Salisbury said...

I don't use chapter titles - mostly because I forget to read them when they are used in a novel. ;-)