Reel Them In

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Contrary to popular opinion that a book’s cover, title, and back cover blurb are all-powerful in convincing a consumer to buy your book, may I suggest that there just may be something almost as powerful that some of us have been overlooking?

I say “may” because I have not tried this—yet. But, it IS intriguing. 

Although not necessary, chapter titles present another chance to reel the reader in, and once the purchase is made, they may keep your audience turning pages well past midnight.

First, though, I’d like to mention the positive roles that chapter titles can play for the author. That’s right. Chapter titles can help you, the author, to focus on the mission/purpose of each chapter while you are writing, making sure that each one aligns with the story’s premise.

Secondly, you can use chapter titles to help build the cause and effect relationship between the preceding chapter and the next.

Thirdly, creating chapter titles serves to attract your audience. For instance, Annie Proulx’s maritime stories use them very cleverly. Some of them are: “A Rolling Hitch,” “Strangle Knot,” and “Love Knot.” 

I read a book once, entitled “A Day in the Life of…” Each chapter—yes, all 24—were the hours on a clock, advancing from midnight forward throughout the entire day. Another book, I remember, used song titles.

If you are halfway through the writing of your book, using chapter titles might not benefit your writing. However, if you are just beginning to write and could use extra help in aligning your chapters with your story’s premise, you may want to consider using chapter titles.

Creating chapter titles may be a fun way to add interest and organization to your own writing, while attracting readers that appreciate the extra effort.

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