People often confuse memoirs with autobiographies. Simply put, an autobiography is a detailed account of a person’s life, including all the stages. It begins with the origin and covers childhood, school, college, adulthood, and professional life. In contrast, a memoir is an excerpt from a person’s life. It’s a portion describing an emotional event that changed a person’s life. Memoirs are usually informal and written in a way that connects with the audience.
Writing an autobiography can be a tedious task. The process is lengthy and takes up too much energy. Therefore, memoirs are the perfect fit for people who just want to tell a part of their story, and time doesn’t allow for an autobiography. Once you decide to write a memoir, the first step should be selecting the events as the central idea. After you have established that this is an event or a realization that you want to write about, the next step is choosing a title.
Power of the Title
A title has the power to make or break your memoir. No matter how extraordinary the memoir is, it won’t make a great first impression if the title is not captivating. Therefore, it is imperative that you pay as much heed to the title as you would to the text inside. If you are a little lost and have no idea about what to name your title, you are in the right place. Continue reading till the end to learn the tips that will help you name your memoir appropriately. You can also connect with a reputable memoir writing service for professional assistance.
Tip 1 – Don’t Complicate Things
It’s common for writers to use unnecessarily complicated language, thinking it will spice up their content. Let us tell you that you cannot make your content good by incorporating complex terms. The same applies to choosing a title.
Whilst choosing the name, you might feel the urge of choosing something extremely fancy to captivate your readers. However, there’s a great possibility of this strategy backfiring. An extravagant title of a memoir might not deliver the purpose of conveying the subject appropriately and present an inaccurate image. Furthermore, exaggerated titles cannot accurately reflect the content of the memoir. Consequently, the reader might be disappointed once they begin and might not continue reading.
Stick with Leonardo DaVinci’s famous saying:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
The title of your memoir should be simple and focus on a personal element rather than something fancy. If it connects with the audience, it will automatically get you a plethora of readers.
Tip 2 – Match The Tones
A common mistake that writers usually make is that the tone of their memoir fails to match the tone of the title. Memoirs can follow multiple tones ranging from hopeful to depressing, playful to severe, dull to exciting, and so much more. Therefore, the title should carry the essence of the tone that will be followed in the text.
Here is a comparison of titles to help you understand better:
Let’s consider Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance.”
This title is pretty self-explanatory, and the reader can quickly get an idea that the writer must have written about his early life and the struggles his family must have faced finding their place in American society. Hence, the title matches the tone of the text and suggests struggle.
In contrast, David Niven’s “The Moon’s A Balloon” does not explain what the memoir could be about. Perhaps it’s a funny incident or a tragic story; you cannot assume anything based on the title alone. Albeit the book is a best-seller, the title doesn’t fall under the category of an ideal title.
Tip 3 – Choose The Length Wisely
Book titles can be either one part or two parts. Two-part titles or combination titles are usually standard in the non-fiction genre. The first part is suggestive or implicative. It is catchy and creates a yearning to read the book. The latter part suggests the central idea of the book.
Here’s an example of an autobiography title:
“It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life” by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins
The idea behind such titles is to appeal to a larger audience. It will be helpful for the readers that need an intriguing title and those who want to comprehend the context of the book just by reading the title.
When it comes to memoirs, it’s up to the writer to choose one-part or a two-part title. Although memoirs are non-fiction, they follow an informal novel-like approach. So, you need to ask yourself if your memoir follows a serious tone; a one-part title is more suitable. If it’s more towards the creative side, a two-part title would be a better choice.
Tip 4 – Make It Self-Explanatory
This tip might be the key to achieving the perfect title. Honestly, there is nothing more pointless than an unclear title. An ambiguous title will make it difficult for the readers to understand the book’s theme and might put them off.
Consider this example:
“An Astonishing Life Story”
Now from this title, the readers cannot decipher what type of a story it is. It could be motivational, funny, exciting, or all of those things. It’s too vague that the reader won’t feel compelled to pick it up.
Consider changing it to:
“An Astonishing Life Story: From Obscurity to Prominence”
This well-crafted choice suggests the book is about the writer’s journey from a fall to arise. It’s easily understandable that the book is motivational and will automatically fascinate the people looking for a motivational read.
Your aim should be to capture the soul and essence of the memoir in your title. Understand the message you aim to convey and let the title be a beacon light for your writing process.
To conclude, the title of your book carries a great responsibility. It should not be a piece of marketing but instead, deliver a personal message while keeping the tips as mentioned above in check. Look at your title from a reader’s perspective. Does it entice you enough to want to pick the book and read it? If it does, you’re good to go. If not, you know how to make it better!