Thursday, July 15, 2010

Understanding the 'Acknowledgment Page' in Novels

Like many folks, I used to skip the Acknowledgment Page found in many novels out there.

As I matured, I began to read these pages as a curiosity took over. Who helped this author write this book? Why were there so many people involved?

It wasn't until I started to write again--and this time I'm not stopping until publication--that I began to see the answers for myself.

There is family and those close few friends that you trust to bounce your idea around with. In my case, my partner Tina, my immediate family (especially my sister--Dr. Lorrie Wood and my 86-year-old mother Ruth who has NEVER pulled punches with me or any of my siblings). Sean Develin and Chris Davis who have been bouncing story ideas around with me for over 20 years (usually over some really fine beer), etc. etc.

Then there are those folks who send words of encouragement and will read the early drafts (also helping with research)--my southern cousins Bette, Al, Dee and Steph. I'd put friend like Nicole, Coles, Tim and a dozen or so others in this category. I'd add Jim Morrow to the 'words of encouragement' list. And believe you me, a couple of kind words from an award winning writer go a LONG way. I should also mention folks I work with at my consulting job who quietly follow my progress and slip in words of encouragement (as long as my real work gets done).

Other folks are more critical (and are teaching me to look seriously and critically at my work) -- Leah Petersen is one (in fact she read the first 50 pages of my novel last night and sent out a boat load of comments--my favorite of which was one from her review of my query letter -- "No, sorry. You don’t get rhetorical questions. Never, uh-uh, no-no." She was right AND it was funny). My partner Tina who deals with my writing neurosis daily who is wicked with a red many more.

So I guess, dear reader, what I'm saying is that there are a lot of people who help out with writing a book. Spend a moment reading the credits and realize what a daunting task it is to finalize a work of fiction for submission. There are loads of unsung heros out there who gladly help for the price of a beer or a box of chocolate.


Leah Petersen said...

Oh, I didn't realize there was beer involved! Woohoo! ;)

I understand this exactly. I would read acknowledgment pages from time to time before I started seriously writing myself. But it takes on a whole new meaning now.

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