actual writing tip: even if ur not planning to have titled chapters in ur finished book, creating chapter titles is actually a great thing to do
the exercise of creating chapter titles does a number of things, including but not limited to:
- forcing u to condense the themes of the chapter down to a few words. (having trouble coming up with a name?? ur chapter might be suffering from an identity crisis. read back through it and see if things should be cut/relocated/rewritten – or maybe this chapter should be split into multiple chapters.)
- putting a (very bright) spotlight on the Purpose™ of the chapter. (does ur chapter title feel weak compared to some of the others?? maybe the chapter itself is weak and needs to be cut/rewritten. give it a second look and try to determine what’s missing or what needs to be amped up to make it punchier™)
- sparking new ideas. (think of it like outlining……. sort of. when creating a chapter title, u want to include *hints* about what’s going to happen without revealing anything specific. this exercise can sometimes ignite The Creativity Machine™ and get u thinking about some subplots which might be worth including/exploring further.)
- giving u a ‘birds eye view’ of ur book, which can help you spot weak points or gaps. also, looking at the chapter titles as a whole can give u a good feel for the ~flow~ of the manuscript as a whole. (this is also a great way to see if u tied up all those subplots, kept ur themes consistent, and developed the overarching plot (and characters!!) in the way u set out to do.)
chapter titles. yeah. do them.
Also just for motivation – writing an entire novel is a big goal that can seem like it will take forever. Making a list of chapter titles breaks it down into smaller goals and you’ll feel a little sense of achievement completing each one, then a big sense of achievement at the end and all your characters will clap and have a party.