Best Practices for Non-Fiction Chapter Subtitles

What is the best way to add Chapter Subtitles in a non-fiction book? My chapters typically open with:

  • Chapter Number
  • Chapter Title
  • Chapter Subtitle
  • Epigraph
  • Epigraph Attribution
  • First Paragraph

I’m not sure where to put the subtitle?

Are there multiple chapter subtitles within your chapters? In this case I’d collect the sections (texts) of those sub-chapters in folders, like:

:open_file_folder: First Chapter
:card_index_dividers: First Topic
… … :page_facing_up: Text 1
… … :page_facing_up: Text 2
… … :page_facing_up: Text 3
:card_index_dividers: Second Topic
… … :page_facing_up: Text 4

It takes a little bit of setup (see “7.6 Section Types” in the Scrivener manual), but once you configured your structure and the corresponding compiler sections, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. The subtitles will be generated from those folder names (“First Topic”, “Second Topic”, etc.).

That’s one of many ways to achieve the same outcome. But I think if you have a preferred way of structuring your work, you’ll likely profit from this approach.

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Make each of them a section type; don’t combine them into a smaller number of documents.

These workflows may be of use. The first is a comprehensive end-to-end fiction compile with chapter numbers, titles, epigraphs, POV-specific headers, page breaks, etc. (Leave out anything you don’t want.)

The second compiles chapter titles, epigraphs, and synopsis entries and illustrates Scrivener’s ability to create very different exports from the same content.

Chapters, Headings, and all That

a synopsis/epigraph report

Also watch Literature & Latte’s Compile tutorials. Four videos, 22 minutes, can make a big difference.

Getting Your Work Out


Somehow I’m unable to process this sentence. :thinking:

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Don’t put chapter title and subtitle in the same document, for example.