Thursday, July 10, 2014

Do you know what a book dedication is—and is not?

Do you know what a book dedication is—and is not?

Have you written your memoir’s dedication—or at least a rough draft? Doing so can help you write the rest of your book. (See below.)

If you haven’t penned even a rough draft of your memoir’s dedication, this blog post is for you.

The dedication often begins with “For” or “I dedicate this book to” followed by names of people for whom you have written the book. But it doesn’t have to be spare and dull: There’s room for creativity and innovation.

Lucille Zimmerman over at Wordserve Water Cooler is fascinated with book dedications. She says the book dedication is not “the acknowledgments page where you thank everyone who ever helped you” but rather it's “that mostly blank page tucked in the beginning of a book, after the title page and publishing credits.” Her blog post includes seven charming book dedications.

A book dedication should be personal. Joseph Kunz emphasizes the emotional connection a book dedication can create, and offers a dozen examples in his blog post.

Stories to Tell workshops include an exercise called “Dedication Page” in which participants answer two questions:  “Who is your book for? Why are they special to you?”

Biff Barnes explains why it’s important to answer those questions even in the process of writing your memoir:

Knowing your audience
will help you pin down your voice,
your tone, your vocabulary,
what stories to include,
and how to shape your book.

If you haven’t thought about your memoir’s dedication page, the time has come! Creating it can be a lot of fun, and even a rough draft will benefit you during your writing.

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