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The Dragon's Throne. The Fiddle. The Fundamentals of Acupuncture. The Loch. Enjoy your tea! I find epilogues often are a nice way to end a suspense with a look at the final romantic resolution. After all the run-for-your-life action, the slower pace and lighter tone provides an ending that--hopefully--makes the reader sigh and smile as she closes the book and reaches for another. Perhaps even another Debby Giusti suspense. Hi Autumn -glad you enjoyed the post and hope you like the one on Prologues as well : And good luck with your own story! Preslaysa - glad to hear you're another lover-of-epilogues!
Lyndee, care to share your special number? I tune into numbers, especially involving scripture. Also like to look ahead to see what the readings are for certain days when big events are scheduled. So often the Lord provides a message for that certain day which brings hope or comfort. Thanks Amy - glad yo enjoyed the post and even happier you enjoy reading them in books!
Cindy - Thanks! And good luck with your WIP. Thanks for the welcome Audra! And it's so COOL to find someone else who likes the number 13 - we are a definite minority : Janet - always fun to visit with you my friend. And yes, I do have a few books without epilogues. As you've obviously learned, not all stories require one.
Winnie, what a great post. I haven't tried writing an epilogue yet. But, you've armed me with some great do's and don't's should I ever write a story that may need one. I especially appreciate what you said about knowing the purpose for the epilogue. What a great piece of advice for each aspect of story crafting, and particularly the epilogue. Love reading them. Love writing them. As a reader, sometimes I find the characters have been going through so much angst and then finally, finally, they get together for one little kiss and The end? I waited pages for this? I want more!
So an epilogue really helps us see the characters enjoying their well-deserved happy ending! Doesn't have to be a wedding though we like them too! Cheers, Sue. Julie - Oh wow - thanks for the shout out on your post. Glad you found value in that one and this one as well. And I've done the same thing you described - use an epilogue to provide a satisfying farewell to a series including my book that's out this month - the 4th in my Texas Grooms series.
I also did that to wrap up a continuity I participated in with two other authors - the Irish Brides series. In that one Cheryl St. John, Renee Ryan and myself wrote about a group of sisters who left Ireland to travel to America. We each told a different sister's story and mine was the final book in the series, so I took the opportunity in my epilogue to show how much joy all three sisters had found in their new life. Anyway, I appreciate your comments and am glad you found some 'food for thought' in the post. Most are the 28th verse, which show the faith of women and Jesus' personality.
For instance, John begins the discussion between Mary and Martha regarding Jesus' arrival at the tomb of Lazarus and we see Jesus weep at the news. What a human moment that allows us connection with our Lord. Another is Matthew which begins the story of the two Mary's faithfully returning to the grave to care for Christ's body. Instead they are the first to be told of Christ's Resurrection.
That speaks volumes. Plus the scriptures on Martha and Mary are so rich and provide such food for thought, especially for women. I was a Martha. I'm trying to be more of a Mary. Good post, Winnie!
A guide that's clear and very much appreciated. I am not a fan of prologues or epilogues. I would rather the information usually included in a prologue unfold as backstory in the story. And with the exception of an epilogue that 'leads' to another book, I want the story to end where it ends. Too many times, the epilogues have lessened the story for me, which is why I usually skip them. Please include me in the drawing! Nancy C. Thank you for your insights into how and when to include an epilogue.
I found it to be helpful to me. Hi Ruth!! Glad you're moving over to the side of liking epilogues When done well, and with the right focus, they really can add that extra little fillip of satisfaction for the reader. Hi Mary - that's an excellent point and one I forgot to mention in my post so thanks for giving me a good lead in for it. Because epilogues make a jump into the future, if you think your next book in the series may start close to the point where he current one ends, it may be best to skip the epilogue so you don't have too much overlap or any spoilers for the next book.
Excellent points, Winnie! My DIL wrote an intriguing one for the end of her trilogy, continuing with the next generation of characters. I'll remember your advice for my next epilogue! Thanks for this information today--a great overview of epilogues. As a reader, I do enjoy them. As a writer, I've only included an epilogue in one historical ms I've written, and for that one I felt it was needed. It was wonderful meeting you last summer in Atlanta at RWA and attending a workshop you did with other authors.
Love your books too! Please enter me in the drawing Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo. Lis K - glad to hear you enjoy epilogues. And the kind you describe is the most popular type in romance novels Kathy - hi!
All good points on things to think about when trying to decide about adding a prologue. And thanks for the congrats! And you're not alone - there are a number of readers who feel the same way you do. An epilogue should be something extra, not the final chapter. Meghan - you're quite welcome and always happy to connect with another list-maker! Donna - oh, that sounds like a perfect use for an epilogue, thanks for sharing.
Would you mind sharing the title? Thanks for the tips on epilogues. I personally enjoy them, especially when they have hints of the "future," such as the characters now being married, expecting a child, etc. I believe the last part of the Harry Potter series was an epilogue, in which Harry sends his children off to Hogwarts, and through dialogue, we learn the fates of various supporting characters, such as Neville, Luna, etc. Often, I will finish the bulk of the book, and save the epilogue for the next morning.
Just so I have something to look forward to reading the next day, and also because I don't want to let those characters go. Winnie, thanks for this post on Epilogues. I love the ones that are done right. I especially love the ones where I don't want the story to end and I want to know what happens next or in the future for the characters. Mary Connealy, I saw your book at Walmart today! Hi Myra. You're welcome and you are absolutely correct.
The epilogue MUST serve a purpose not just be window dressing. Tina glad you liked the post. Jan, glad to hear you are open to epilogues. And thanks for stopping by. Hi Debby. Thanks for the welcome - Always fun to visit here.
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And great observations about the purpose epilogues can serve in a suspense-type story. JeanneT - glad you enjoyed the post. And you're right - EVERY scene in your book needs to have a purpose for its existence, not just the epilogue Hi Susan - ah, a true epilogue lover! I love the way you describe your rationale! Martha vs.
I wish it wasn't so controversial to be a Martha. I claim it and own it and there's this snarky NY side of me that really likes being who I am. I see Mother Teresa as the quintessential Martha. She did and did and did constantly and prayed all the while, seeing Jesus in everyone. So why is being a Martha bad???? I have that on my discussion points memo for heaven. And youse know me: It will be discussed.
Winnie said - oh, that sounds like a perfect use for an epilogue, thanks for sharing. Hi Becky, you're quite welcome - glad you found it helpful. Patti Jo, so nice to hear from you. Thanks for all the kind words. Will you be at RWA conference this year? I'm not giving any workshops but I'll be there. Hi Stephanie - oh what a neat way to treat yourself. I'll have to remember that little trick next time I'm reluctant to let go of the characters in a book I'm reading! Wilani, you're quite welcome!
And glad to hear that you sre nother lover of epilogues! Ruth, Alas I didn't have any ham to go with my toast, but I did settle for a slice of pepper jack cheese :. Thanks Donna! I love Linda Goodnight's books but this is one I haven't read yet. I've always thought he corrected her complaining, not her hard work. Kind of like after the resurrection when Peter asked him, "So what about John, what's he gonna do? Follow thou me. Mary was slaving away trying to care for Him and His disciples, and I feel sure he appreciated that.
But he could feed thousands with one little boy's lunch. Instead, on that infamous day, she was more worried about what her sister wasn't doing anybody wanna bet she was the older sister? Could it be that Martha was really a sweet Mother Teresa type lady who happened to have a bad day once when the disciples happened to be in her home to witness it so they could record it for posterity? I've seen her as a character in Biblical era novels where she too "owns" her Martha-ness, minus the complaints, personifying that verse in Colossians before it was even written.
Sorry about the sermon I'm married to a preacher. Sometimes it rubs off. If the "I love you and I can't live without you" comes in the last few pages, I feel cheated out of seeing them together as a real couple. I'm planning an epilogue for my WIP, which will hopefully be the first of a trilogy. In fact I've already written it, and the book isn't half done.
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A major supporting character a dear friend of the heroine, who happens to be mostly in love with her leaves town after the wedding. He's the hero of the second novel, and the epilogue I have written serves to set up his return so he can meet the real love of his life, while also giving an update on the happy couple from book 1. I only hope that one day when the book is published, it doesn't get cut.
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Great post, and I would love to win your book. I read and loved the first two, but apparently I somehow missed number three I don't always want or need an epilogue. I do feel sometimes that they are just tacked on. Andrea, glad to hear you enjoy epilogues And it sounds like you have discovered a strong purpose for the epilogue you want to write for your own book, which is half the battle for making it effective! Mary, some readers just don't care for epilogues and that is perfectly valid. But not all epilogues are created equal, and if they feel 'tacked on' it may be that they were not done properly.
HI Winnie, Talk about being late to the party. I missed yesterday, but in case you peak in again today, thanks for posting with us in Seekerville. I love epilogues reading them anyway. I've only written one. But you gave some great considerations. Thanks again for joining us. Oh, yes. I'd love to win Winnie's winner! Right on with epilogues. I always enjoy descriptions of the wedding.
A day late I suppose, but very thankful for your insight as I make this decision about my ms. Hello everyone. First a quick definition of what an Epilogue is, as it relates to a work of fiction. An epilogue provides a comment, conclusion or depicts consequences of the actions within the story itself and always appears at the end of the story, AFTER the climax.
The short answer is no. However, there may be a number of reasons why you would WANT an epilogue. Think of it this way. Compare it to baking a cake. If you mix and bake the batter properly so that it comes out light and tasty, and then you top it with a yummy frosting, then the outcome is quite satisfying. However, if you as the baker, sense there is a little something extra you can do to enhance the eating experience, say add some chocolate curls to the top, then by all means do so. Here are a few reasons. This is probably the most common type of epilogue, especially in the world of romance novels.
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Perhaps this is not the kind of story that has a happily ever after, at least not for all of your characters. In that case, you might want to show the long term consequences of those wrong turns taken by your characters. If for some reason your story called for an abrupt or traumatic ending then there may be some issues relating to the fate of your characters that you want to clarify. In this case you could use an epilogue to show how the characters or events of the story affected the story world itself. There are other reasons, but these re the most common ones. All that being said, there are a few good reasons NOT to write an epilogue.
If there are loose ends, it is best to find a way to resolve these in the final chapters of your story. An epilogue must serve a story purpose, must add something positive to the reader experience to earn its place in your book. If not, it runs the risk of being deadweight, resulting in having your story end on an anti-climatic note. So how to do you go about writing one that is effective? Which brings us to This is not the time to introduce new characters or conflicts unless, of course, you are planting seeds for a follow-up story.
This not only gives the reader a sense of perspective, but it keeps your prologue from feeling like merely the continuation of the previous chapter. The voice of the epilogue should be consistent with the voice of the novel as a whole. You want to make certain when your reader closes your book it is with a sigh of satisfaction, not with the vague feeling that the story went on just a little too long.
Seekerville Archives: Epilogues - The Last Word On Your Story
In closing, before penning an epilogue for your story, make sure you know exactly why it is needed. There you have it, my thoughts on Epilogues. So what do you think? Do you agree with the various points I made? And reasons or tips do you have that I left out? Rescuer Turned Husband? Plucky Ivy Feagan is headed to Turnabout, Texas , to claim an inheritance, not a widower's heart.