Top 5 Favorite Chapter Titles!

One of my favorite parts of being a writer is coming up with chapter titles. It’s also one of my favorite parts about reading a book too. I’m definitely not the only author that includes hints, puns, and just generally has fun with them. So today I wanted to share my top 5 favorite chapter titles from my own books, along with my top 5 favorites from books I’ve read.

Top 5 favorite chapter titles from Records of the Ohanzee:

5. Chapter 14 – The Sparkling Sky Flower
(Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix)

fire

This chapter is named after the clothing store Darci owns. I’ve had several readers comment that they are curious to know what Darci is doing when she encounters the Ohanzee in the woods in Harbinger of the Phoenix. I’m not ready to come right out and say it yet, but the name she chose for her shop is a really big hint!

4. Chapter 18 – Treacherous Men
(Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix)

Sword

In this chapter, Desta has a dream about her first love, who broke her heart by cheating on her. Shortly after she awakens from the dream about her traitorous former boyfriend, the group is ambushed by Senka operatives–who were tipped off by a different kind of traitor.

3. Chapter 22 – Full Moon
(Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror)

The title for this chapter seems straight forward at first: it takes place on the night of the full moon. But, actually, three full moons make an appearance…

2. Chapter 10 – A Promise over a Meat Pie
(Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix)

I jotted this title down off the top of my head as a joke when I started writing this chapter, because the absurdity of it amused me. I had every intention on changing it once I finished writing the chapter, but by the end, it had grown on me enough that I couldn’t bear to change it.

1. Chapter 7 – A Rose Among Roses
(Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror)

rose-among-roses

This is my very favorite chapter title. I’m sure I’ll be coming up with many others in the future, but it will be hard for any of them to take this one’s place in my heart. On the surface, the title is a direct reference to Rian’s quote (in the image above). But there’s a more subtle reference as well. This is the chapter where Raysel makes his first appearance, briefly joining Nerissa and Rian among the roses in the garden during the masquerade. Like his two sisters, Aravind (lotus) and Cattleya (orchid), Raysel’s name is also related to flowers (his name, of course, means “rose”). So there truely is a rose among the roses. 😉

Top 5 favorite chapter titles from other works:

5. Chapter 36 – The Only One He Ever Feared
(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling)

Epic battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort? Like you didn’t see that coming based on the chapter title alone!

4. Chapter 11 – I Begin Life on My Own Account, and Don’t Like It
(David Copperfield by Charles Dickens)

A sentiment expressed in 1850 that still resonates today.

3. Chapter 6 – Out of the Frying Pan-Into the Fire
(The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien)

Usually its best to avoid using idioms in novels, but there are times when it just works.

2. Every single chapter title in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Beautiful book, beautiful titles. I can’t even pick just one: The Contortionist’s Tattoo, Darkness and Stars, Ailuromancy…the list just keeps going.

1. Epilogue – To See the Answer
(A Memory of Light, The Wheel of Time Book 14 by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson)

What better name is there for the ending of a mammoth 14 book epic fantasy? The chapter title is as perfect as the ending itself.

 

Do you pay attention to chapter titles as you read? What are your favorites?
Authors: Do you name each of your chapters? Or do you prefer just to simply number them?

4 Comments

  1. I experimented with chapter titles early on, but I found that unless I was utilizing a theme, they served little purpose for me. I tend to stick with numbered chapters and let the rest sort itself out. Not to say that I wouldn’t give it some consideration after reading this article. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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