Help! How should I title my chapters?

Jedi Armen, my teddy bear protector, bearer of the One Ring of Power. He’s very fierce.

Since I’m apparently incapable of making up my own mind, I pose this question to you: how should I title my chapters?

Here are the options:

Option #1

Chapter 27

Option #2


Option #3

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Recall that Imminent Danger is a YA sci-fi/romance book. I don’t know if that’s relevant. I’m personally leaning towards Option #2 (just the number), because I spend most of my life these days shortening my manuscript so I’m going through a minimalist phase.

But my book stopped being a dictatorship a long time ago, so time for democracy to get its say:

Feeling multicultural? Check out this ridiculous K-Pop video:

That’s all she wrote. Have a kick-bottom Wednesday, amigos.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Help! How should I title my chapters?

  1. I would go for option one or two for the chapter titles. They would both look good, but I can see option two being better depending on how you style everything.

  2. Did you pull down a few of your favorite YA books and see how they do it? That might help. Layout/formatting also matters and how it looks on the page. But if it’s just going to be a regular font, nothing fancy, I like option two. What about adding a period on the end? i.e. “27.”

    • Interesting idea! 4. 24. 13. I’ll have to scrounge through my YA books like you suggested and see what those crazy kids are up to these days.

  3. Candace Knoebel

    I like number two. Plain and simple.

  4. johnkbucher

    I personally don’t like numbers as chapters but “Charles Leaves Town” or something like the title of a tv series.

  5. Option #2. A lot of YA books that I just searched around for have option 2. Though, if I had to pick a close second, it would be option 1. Option 3 looks a bit odd for a YA novel.

  6. Bret Easton Ellis’ Glamorama had the chapter titles as a countdown to zero… at which point they started increasing again and things went totally bonkers.

    So there’s that option, too.

  7. I guess YA’s wouldn’t go for Roman numerals? 😉 Only joking.
    I voted number 1 but here I will suggest option 2 because I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure. 😉
    Good call removing the chapter titles. I always have a problem with those. They need to be vague enough to not give away the plot but clear enough to identify the chapter. The compromise results in something rather pointless, IMHO. Numbers are good. 🙂

  8. Michelle

    27. sounds a little cold and uncaring. Personally I like Chapter Twenty-Seven, but it may sound a little official for a YA novel.

    If you’re feeling adventurous, try titling each chapter with ‘Chapter 27’ and add a sub-title in caps or bold that, chapter by chapter, forms a clue or message to the reader.

    i.e. Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    and so on to say something like…wait until you reach the final chapter. It may surprise you (or similar). It would be the literary equivalent of a jigswa. You could even randomise the words.

    Hope this helps

    PS This idea just popped into my head; Anyone who’s writing a techno-thriller, try using binary numbers (or Hexadecimal) for chapter headers.

    • Oooh, cool idea! I get the feeling that would work better for a mystery/thriller, though. Subtitles is an interesting thought though… hmm…

      • Check out Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler… for a great example of fun chapter titles. It’s an excellent book too, in a throw-it-at-the-wall kind of way.

  9. HGfan1016

    i like the second option for the chapters the best. maybe when you format it you could also add in a little design or something 🙂

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