Friday, November 8, 2013

On Chapter Titles

The Doctor delights in reading a book in "The Angels Take Manhattan"
The Doctor: Your book. Which you haven't written yet. So we can't read!
River: I see. I don't like the cover much.
Amy: But if River's going to write that book she'd make it useful, yeah?
River: Well I'll certainly try. But we can't read ahead, it's too dangerous.
Amy: I know, but there must be something we can look at.
The Doctor: What, a page of handy hints? Previews, spoiler-free.
Amy: Chapter titles
(The Doctor scans the page of chapter titles - Chapter 9, Calling the Doctor, Chapter 10, The Roman in the Cellar, Chapter 11, Death at Winter Quay.)
The Doctor: He's in the cellar…

I had to chuckle when I heard this bit of dialog from the Doctor Who episode, “The Angels Take Manhattan.” This is exactly how I think of chapter titles - as spoiler-free book teasers.

Here are a couple of chapter titles from my new novel to wet your appetite:

A Midnight Rendezvous
Warlords at Dinner
Electrical Madness
Burglary by Night

Do they sound intriguing? Do they make you want to find out more? 

If so, then they’re doing their job well. 

I believe that a book’s table of contents should act as kind of a literary appetizer. An imaginative aperitif to wet your appetite for the main course, the story itself.

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