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I've got another chapter title question.

In the first chapter of my story, a significant secondary character is introduced, and I think it makes sense to use the character's name as the chapter title. This character is an established literary figure (and clearly referenced in the story summary), so I expect readers to recognize them by name alone. The character only appears on page near the end of the chapter, but there's plenty of build-up before that.

However, I'm wondering whether that could be confusing, whether readers would expect a character mentioned in the title to also be the POV character.

For what it's worth, my story is written in omniscient third person, focusing on different characters in turn. The titular character does not get a POV in their introductory chapter (which is clear from the start), but will get occasional POV scenes in later chapters. Also, I don't intend to follow the "POV character as chapter title" system anywhere else in the story.

  • as long as the chapter title and the predominant subject of the chapter agree, I don't think people would be confused. sometimes they might be the POV and sometimes just the subject of the action/discussion/target then it is cool – EDL Aug 26 '19 at 1:50
  • while I agree with Cyn and EDL that it should be fine, there is a small chance for confusion, so I would suggest that the first paragraph of the chapter makes it clear whose PoV the chapter is using, and then you're 100% ok... – sesquipedalias Aug 26 '19 at 7:16
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Chapter names serve many purposes so, as long as your choice is one that fits with other chapter names, it's fine.

If you always named the chapter after the POV character then you had one named after a non-POV character, it would be confusing. But if you regularly named other chapters after events or happenings in the chapter, then naming it after a character your main character meets is pretty normal and straightforward.

While writing, chapter names are mostly for your own personal navigation use. Since you might not remember what "Chapter 23" is about without it.

When you're done with the book to the point of not just finishing the first draft but revising it to be ready for your beta readers, go through the table of contents and make sure the chapters make thematic sense and that none are duplicates or stand out as unusual.

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