[Insert Title Here]

Chapter titles.  Many of us write them, we all read them.  Personally, I love books even more if they have clever chapters titles.  For example, the Percy Jackson & Olympians series had the funniest chapter titles, but then the author didn’t continue with them for his other series’.  With some books, chapter titles just don’t make sense, and you have to make do with choosing whether to put a Roman numeral or a number at the top of the page instead.  Being the title-loving teen that I am, I come up with a ton of different names for chapters I will [eventually] write.  Don’t be discouraged if you can’t think of titles that fit your story.  Most of the time, I’m just jotting down random ideas that sometimes have nothing to do with my characters.  Or so it would seem.  Thinking of chapter titles is also another way to get your creative juices flowing.  You can create entirely new plotlines, plot device, or characters just from a single chapter title.  That title could be something as simple as “The Castle” or “The Enemy.”  Or you could make the title slightly more complex, like “The Day the Sun Stood Still” or “Escaping a High-Security Prison With a Water Gun.”  Okay, that last one probably wasn’t very helpful.  But if you take ordinary things that you see everyday, like trees, grass, hills (unless you live in a flat area), the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, or whatever else it may be, you can create some pretty awesome chapter titles.  Another way to do this: if you take two objects (let’s say a tree and a dragon), you could come up with chapter titles like “The Dragon’s Forest,” “The Leaves of the Dragonfire Tree,” and “The Dragon’s Nest.”  With the last one, I took something that would be found in a tree, rather than the tree itself.  Don’t limit yourself to just a dragon and a tree (if that’s what you happen to be writing about), and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!  What I’ve noticed about most chapters and their titles is that they focus on a very small part of the chapter.  Today I was rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and as I was writing the first part of this post, a chapter randomly came to mind.  The chapter was called “Detention with Dolores,” but most of the chapter didn’t dwell upon the detention itself, rather events that came before and after.  Writers often choose a small element of the chapter to focus on, not necessarily the main event of the chapter.  It could be about something that seems insignificant until later on in your story, maybe an unnamed character, an object easily forgotten, etc.  Some writers, although I’ve seen very few do this, use quotes from the chapter itself to propel the storyline.  If you ever have writer’s block, start thinking of chapter titles rather than plotlines, and you might find yourself moving forward.  Here are a few titles randomly picked from my list of chapter titles I’ve come up with.  They make me think of a certain event or place in my story, but I want you to relate them to your story.  What do they make YOU think of?  What situations are your characters in because of these titles?  How do they affect or change your characters?

  • A Change of Plans
  • Black Magic
  • Beautiful Horrors
  • The South-Eastern Islands
  • Trapped
  • Immortality
  • Under the Mountains
  • Keeper of Shadows
  • The Nobleman’s Daughter

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