I have to admit that when I'm in a bookstore, sometimes I do judge books by their cover. There have been several books that I picked up just because the cover looked pretty or the title looked interesting. One of my favorite books, The Smart One and the Pretty One, by Claire LaZebnik, caught my eye specifically because of the title.
I think that titles are important because they're typically the first thing that the reader looks at. The best ones are the ones that tell the reader something significant about the book. The Scarlet Letter, for example, is a good title. Dimmesdale Feels Guilty and Spends Several Pages Obsessing Over It until You Want to Take Him By the Shoulders and Say, "Snap Out of It! Just BE A MAN!" would not be a good title.
I've taken several one-night writing classes at StoryStudio, and during one of the classes, I asked the teacher how to figure out what the right title for a story should be. She said that editors and agents often came up with their own ideas for titles. She also said that writers could take a specific object, symbol, or line from their stories and use that as the title. I liked that idea.
I haven't written a memoir, but I'd like to write one someday. I already have a lot of material from my blog and my journals. But maybe I'll wait until I've achieved my goal of world domination. Or maybe I'll wait until I become President and make it a law that people with names like Snooki aren't allowed to get book deals unless they actually WRITE their books.
I have thought about what the title of my memoir will be. I read somewhere that the most successful memoirs are typically the ones that have specific themes, like Bitter is the New Black, by Jen Lancaster, which was about how she lost her six-figure salary corporate job and how she struggled with unemployment, until she was "reborn" as a writer. Candyfreak, by Steve Almond, is about the author's obsession with candy, and how he even interviewed several people who made and sold candy.
My memoir would definitely revolve around work, of course, because my life revolves around work. So maybe Obsessions of a Workaholic would be a good title.
Here are a few other titles I thought of:
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Men
Surviving Grad School, One Footnote at a Time
Why Teaching Made My Hair Turn White
101 Ways To Drive Your Neighbors MAD
Give Peace (and Pop Music) a Chance
The Coolest People are the Most Neurotic Ones
Why Take a Vacation When I Can WORK?
Exercise (and All the Cute Guys with Big Muscles at the Gym) Is Good for the Soul
How to (Not) Get A's in College (The first chapter would have this title: Cell Phones are the Devil's Toys)
How Writing Saved My Life
What about you? Have you ever thought of writing a memoir? If you already have, what was it about? If you haven't yet, what would you write if you did? What would your title be?
Happy New Year, everyone!
(Side note: Is anyone else having problems leaving comments on posts that require e-mail addresses? The last three times I left a comment on a post that required the commenters to include their e-mail addresses, the link to my comment ended up linking to my e-mail! Fortunately, I contacted the bloggers and they were able to remove the link. But I was just wondering if anyone else was having this problem, because now I'm afraid to leave comments on posts that require my e-mail address.)