Chapter Headings

There are many formats for chapter headings, but one thing that can’t be wrong is the numbering. #writetip If you’re self editing, and I would guess lots of authors are, at least before submitting to an agent or publisher, check your numbers carefully.

By the time an author completes a novel, I suspect scenes, if not whole chapters, have been reorganized. You might move a scene to an earlier spot in your novel. You might remove a chapter. Infinite changes are possible.

In the end, don’t forget to check the chapter numbers are in right. It’s easy to re-use a chapter number or skip one all together. I print my manuscript and spread is chapter by chapter across the floor.

Other small things I check:

– Are the headings a consistent font and character size?

– Are the headings positioned at the same spot on the page? By this I mean, check the number of lines before  and after the chapter heading. Are all the heading centred, left aligned, or right aligned?

– Do the headings start on a new page?

This many seem small, but it will enhance the professionalism of your submission.


3 thoughts on “Chapter Headings

  1. If you are using Word, you can use the Chapter/Table of contents feature. It automatically numbers your chapters for you, even if you move them around. For me, It’s been a Godsend. It even automatically updates what page number the chapters start in a table of contents.


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