When I was a budding writer I used to surf a number of places on the internet filled with inexperienced wordsmiths. These communities were a great resource for growing skill and encouraging each other, but there was a habit most of them used that drove me nuts.
No, it wasn’t the quality of the fiction. Let’s be honest, we all sucked once, and at that point I sucked and didn’t know what made fiction brilliant. The problem was the ‘author’s notes.’
First things first I’d like readers to. . .
Before a excerpt, an author would make excuses about why we should overlook various problems in the work. Reasons why the dialogue is boring, the prose is unreadable. Or, worst of all, a plea to overlook grammatical errors because it was written quickly.
Amateurs aren’t the only ones guilty of this, either. Debut novelists do it, too, they just call it something different. Forewords and acknowledgments, while understandable, jammed together at the beginning of a book.
I see these sorts of things, whatever you want to call them, as the ‘special features’ of the book or story. If I end up liking the story, I want to know the author’s thoughts on it, and will definitely like to see who helped them out. I just want to do it after I care about the writer.
What are your thoughts on the Author’s Notes? Do they belong up front? How necessary do you think they are? Comment below!