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How to honor and say thanks to the right people

You’re delirious with happiness. You’ve typed The End. But there is more work to do. We need to remember, someone helped us over the top. 

On the road to success, who helped you? Who encouraged you? There are a lot of people you need to add to the acknowledgment page.

How to master the acknowledgment page like a pro.

I recently had this very discussion with another writer. So, I was so excited to read a couple of good articles, Who Are You Going to Acknowledge in Your Book? By Judith Briles and Write Your Book Acknowledgments (Without Stressing Over It)By Tucker Max that gives us a good guideline.

What I learned from their articles:

  • Don’t get sloppy. People are going to read this page too.
  • Make a list before you start. Hopefully, this will prevent you from forgetting someone.
  • Important first and be specific as to why you are acknowledging them. What did they do to help you?
  • There is a difference in a dedication page and an acknowledgment page.
  • Dedication is short and sweet, usually mentions one or few people. And placed at the front of the book.
  • Acknowledgment is for everyone who helped you get to the end and is at the back of the book. You can mention, friends, family, beta readers, and all of the professionals that contributed to your book. Like designers, writing groups, even you’re babysitter. If you are grateful to someone for their help, add them here.
  • Be sincere, your readers can spot fake. But don’t go on and on either.
  • Unlike the dedication, the acknowledgment section can be as long as you need it to be. You need to find the between style and long-windedness.
  • However, if you don’t want to list each and every person, for fear of missing someone or not getting it right, you can do a blanket thank all type of acknowledgment. The choice is yours.
  • With both the Dedication Page and the Acknowledgment Page, make it personal. Make it readable and let your thankfulness shine through.

My two cents:

  • Unless you are certain they wouldn’t mind. Ask. Ask before you print someone’s name in your book. Even on the acknowledgment page. Better safe than sorry. Plus I think it’s considerate to ask permission.
  • Also, the Acknowledgment Page is optional, not mandatory. However, remember someone helped you finish and publish that book. Say thanks.

Click and read this important post to get it right.

Who Are You Going to Acknowledge in Your Book?

Write Your Book Acknowledgments (Without Stressing Over It)

Tell me…

Do you have an additional tip?

Who did you add to the acknowledgment page of your book?

Who do you think should be acknowledged?

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AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON. 

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How to unlock the Writer hiding in a Storyteller

Do you need to convert a story to the written word?

Tried and failed? Why didn’t your story didn’t convert?

I bet at some time in your life, you’ve enjoyed telling a good yarn. Whether it’s around a campfire, the bed of a toddler, or long-winded joke with coworkers. The ability to tell a good story doesn’t always make a good writer.

When my children were very small, I would make up stories to distract them. I’d let them contribute by adding characters. When a long walk became boring or tiring for there little legs, the walk became a safari searching for animals behind trees and tall weeds. Long car drives became guessing games that could evolve into a story.  They never wondered why a giraffe was eating a neighbor’s yard eating leaves. They never questioned that lions weren’t native to the USA. 

Those were special moments when they listened in rapt awe to everything I said, too bad those years were short.

Why does a story not automatically translate with ease on to the written page?

It was this big!

I’m an animated talker. I can’t talk without my hands much less tell a good story without hand gestures, facial gyrations or even moving about. My voice rising with the action and softens with the tension. This makes it easy to convey to the listener what happened in the story.

However, all of that movement isn’t easy to put into words without exhausting the reader and losing their interest.

After reading a great article 6 Key Differences Between Storytelling and Writing by Gordon Long a few things about writing clicked into place for me.

What clicked?

  • Storytellers are performers.
    • We pace, wave, laugh and do all kind of gestures when telling a story.
  • It’s called telling a story for a reason.
    • Telling rather than showing doesn’t translate well. Readers what to see the action.
  • A storyteller peppers the story with adverbs. And we writers know all about adverbs.
  • A storyteller head hops and it works because he can act out each character. Head hopping is harder for a writer.
  • A writer must be more direct with dialog.
  • Unlike a writer, the storyteller is stuck with chronological order.

Most of all, Gordon Long points out that a storyteller is allowed to tell, a writer must show.

Be sure and click on his link and read his in-depth post to improve your writing.

6 Key Differences Between Storytelling and Writing by Gordon Long

Okay, tell me what you think.

Are you a better storyteller than a writer?

Does any of Mr. Long’s tips resonate with you?

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How to rewrite with more impact

Switch out those inactive words with power words.

Hit your reader straight on and leave them in awe.

K.M. Allan tells us to check this list against our writing and replace with active words. And you all know, I do love lists.

The Active Word Checklist by K.M. Allan

I am guilty of peppering my writing with many of these words. Especially “could, had, thought and maybe.” Maybe is my big crutch word. 

Thank goodness for the find and replace feature. Using find & replace with this list as a starting point will tighten my writing a lot.

Tell me what you think.

Which words do you overuse?

Will removing words on this list help you?

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Great reminder on what not to worry about

In other words…

I need to use this as my screen saver. A constant reminder that my first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

I’ve rewritten the same chapter at least five times. Tweaking a comma here, a comma there, putting commas everywhere only to go back rewrite the sentence and throw out all the commas.

That’s just one example of how I worry over small stuff that should wait until the damn book is finished.

Thanks go out to Janice Hardy over at Fiction University for a great reminder in this terrific post on writing first and fixing last.

Things I want to remember about writing…

  • The novel doesn’t have to be planned and structured to the last detail before I start writing.
  • Complete the thought and don’t worry about crossing every t and dotting every eye. Time for that later.
  • Don’t worry about too many characters in a draft. You can delete those who don’t pull their weight later during editing.
  • Writing a scene where a character has a freak out, don’t worry if’s too over the top. During editing, you can calm her ass down if needed.
  • About world building… Get the world down in that first draft. You can flesh out and make the world more real during editing.
  • It’s okay for my first draft to be a mess.
  • It’s okay that inconsistencies and scattered thoughts fill my first draft. I can yank out anything that doesn’t fit later.
  • It’s okay to throw everything and anything in my novel. Just like dirty dishes, I can wash, dry and put in proper place later.

Click and read this post by Janice and see if you find a few tips to free your creative writing muse.

It’s a Start: What Not to Worry About in a First Draft

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