Should I use chapter titles?

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Right now I’m reconstructing a previous novel idea, so I’m not 100% sure what my novels going to be yet and what’s going to be in each chapter. If I was to write my novel on a day-to-day timeline it would be boring as hell. Some parts will be sped up and others skipped entirely and referenced in one or two lines because there has to be a reason for each chapter. I’ve read books where we stay with the character through the entire book timeline and we’re taken everywhere with them, to visit elderly grandparents, dinners with their parents or just straight up useless boring dialogue scenes that make me hate the characters that little bit more.

I’ve read too many books where we stay with the character through the entire book timeline and we’re taken everywhere with them, to visit elderly grandparents, dinners with their parents or just straight up useless boring dialogue scenes that make me hate the characters that little bit more.

I have each of my chapters named in a similar way I name the novel itself. It’s good reading books that do this, It gives a little sneak peeks into what to expect but then again, it can also spoil major plot points and ruin the suspense; if I know one character will still be tagging along by the final chapters I know they survive and  in most cases I can probably guess the characters get on even ground having spent so much time together.

Sally Green in her ‘Half Bad’ trilogy probably does the best job of naming sections and chapters out of all the books I’ve read. It’s vague, I don’t know what to expect. Even when the chapters finished I sometimes go back to see the link between the title and content.

With the chapter title’s I use now my chapters are a number of stories in one, a problem easily solved with Sally’s method if I can trust myself not to end up writing cliche’s. With her method, it’s so much more compelling! Reading a story where the author is dropping little hints at the beginning of each chapter is being told that each step and choice the character makes is all part of an elaborate plan I as a reader have yet to discover! As readers, we know what authors can do. They can break your heart and even worse, break your trust too.

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