Why Dedications Are Important
Today I wanted to cover a topic I find personally important in my novels. It may not be as vital to every author out there, but I place a lot of my heart into dedicating my novel to someone for many reasons, and I thought I would share why. I’m also going to be using the dedications in my own novels as examples. This is not to say all authors must have dedications, but I will say why I find it important as a reader and as a writer, and I would love to hear your reasons for loving (or disliking) dedications in the comments below!
As a reader myself, I always love reading dedications at the front of a book. First, it allows me to have a sneak peek at the author’s personality. Second, it might hint as to why the book was written – which, in itself, will deepen my own connection with the book right from the start – and third, it can remind readers there is a person behind the work they are about to read. A dedication is almost like the author coming up, introducing themselves, and stating what matters to them. Even if it’s not entirely clear – like I don’t know their brother or why they are so close – I do know they have a brother, someone they care about, and the courage to share that love for that person with the world right next to their hard work.
The dedication in book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset reads, “Dedicated to my roommates, Kristine Andersen and Megan Paustian, for the timeless memories and unfailing support.”
For those of you who have followed me since the beginning, you might remember the day my roommate, Kristine, died, but Megan, Kristine, and I lived together for years, and the effects of those years remain close to my heart. Being able to express my gratitude for their friendship was indescribable, especially since MBS released seven months after Kristine’s death. Without them, I’m not sure I would’ve ever pursued publication again.
As the author of the story, it’s both a sad and happy moment when I complete a novel, but without fail, whenever I finish writing a novel, I remember when it began. I’m not sure if I am strange or not, but I remember the exact moment a story is born, even if it’s a small moment, and I am eternally grateful for that moment – even if it seems crazy.
The dedication in book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Seconds Before Sunrise, reads, “Dedicated to Calone – for showing how the darkness can be brighter than the light.”
What you don’t know is probably obvious: who is Calone? What is she talking about? Well, for one, you might have read My Dream. The Timely Death Trilogy was born from a series of night terrors and nightmares I was having during a very difficult time in my life. The focus of these dreams became a boy – the very boy my protagonist, Eric, is based off of – but back then, in real life, his name was Calone. My sequel is dedicated to someone who is not technically real but he is real to me, and his presence is the singular reason the trilogy existed in the first place. He also did exactly what my dedication says: he showed me how accepting fear and pain can grow into something stronger than strength. Through that, the concept of Dark vs. Light (with the Dark being the good guys) was born, and the second book was written. (In case, you haven’t been following for a while, the second book was written before the first, so that’s why SBS was dedicated to him rather than MBS.)
3. The Inspiration and the support
As the author, I never forget those who have supported my novels the most. I know many of you haven’t read Death Before Daylight, and I’m still incredibly sorry it will not be available for purchasing, but – again – I would like to take this moment to remind all trilogy readers that you can get a PDF copy of DBD for free simply by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now that that is out of the way…
The dedication in book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Death Before Daylight, reads, “Dedicated to Alex – for dreaming up daylight in a dark place.”
Alex has been one of my closest friends since I was 11 years old. She is also the reason the trilogy is a trilogy at all. Originally, it was only going to be the first two books, but then, she dealt with all my crazy conversations about this book, and one night, she had a dream about it. She told me every last detail, and with her permission, I morphed it into the last book of the trilogy. If you’ve had a chance to read it, the dedication will probably make even more sense, but this dedication opportunity finally allowed me to thank her – almost seven years after she had that dream.
In the end (or the beginning of a novel) a dedication serves a purpose. The words show a connection, a reason, and a lifetime of acknowledgements. Novels are never born on their own. There are many people and inspirations that allowed a book to make it into existence, and even though I will soon lose mine, the moment of sharing a dedication will never cease to breathe life into my love for writing and for those who have inspired me. As someone who has a difficult time expressing my emotions in person, dedicating my work to my loved ones has been my way of showcasing how much I care about them. So, consider sharing your dedications with those who inspire you. They might get the chance to see how one small sentence can mean so much to so many people.
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20 thoughts on “#WW Why Dedications Are Important”
I once came across the following, and I am not making this up – ‘I dedicate this book to myself’.
Now, that is a giggle. I have not seen something like that before.
Hi Shannon thanks for this post. I understand completely where you are coming from as I dedicated my debut novel to my late mother, she wanted to know how the story ended and qsked me to please finish it soon. But life absorbed all my free time so it was shelved for years and sadly she did not get to read the ending, but I hope she will get to read it someday in heaven’s library.
Your posts are always inspiring thank you.
Thank you for sharing your dedication and the story behind it! My first novel was also dedicated to my late mother. Dedications can be so important, and it’s nice to see how authors have put their heart and soul into it.
Reblogged this on Phoenix Rainez.
Thank you for sharing!
Book dedications are important, and I think they can mean so much to take those few minutes to come up with one to give appreciation to all those who’ve helped!
i need this thing to concentrate to my carreer and life…
I had so much trouble with my dedication. There were too many people who were part of the D&D game that inspired the series, had read early versions, or simply did something that influenced a part of the series. I went for a cheesy, all-encompassing one “To everyone who has entered Windemere and left a mark upon its soul’. I’ll probably do a lengthy one at the beginning of the final book, but that is the one I’ve been reusing for a while. Can’t really think of any other way to do it.
I think that is a fantastic dedication! It explains everything at once. You could always add a longer one in the acknowledgements? I’ve done that before. But I think your dedication was great. :] Thank you for sharing.
I haven’t done an acknowledgement page yet. Figured it would work best for the finale to cover all bases.
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Thank you for sharing!
As a reader, I always read the dedication in books because I enjoy the insight it gives. It’s like a glimpse into a different side of the author’s personality that is perhaps not so clear in the story itself.
I agree! There are some dedications I actually remember just like I remember the book. They can really say a lot.
I agree with you that dedications are important. All my books have a dedication in them and I will continue to do so with future novels. The people who inspire, encourage and support us should be honored.
And it’s such a fantastic way to honor them. :]
Thank you for reading and commenting.
As a reader I always make a point to read the dedications (the acknowledgements as well). I find it gives insight to the author and allows me to appreciate the book.