December 14, 2012

Epilogue Or Not To Epilogue?

An epilogue is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature or drama, usually used to bring closure to the work.

You can use an epilogue for one or two reasons.

The first is to explain to your readers that the story has indeed ended. As I mentioned in the previous blog (“Is Your Book Ready To End?”), you can either write a couple of paragraphs at the end of the last chapter or create another chapter to bring your book to a full close.

In the first book of my supernatural-thriller series, I added a chapter to the end of my book after the shocking and explosive climax. I used this chapter to continue the story after the BIG event. However, instead of writing another chapter, you can write an epilogue to do the same thing. This is ideal for romance stories to give a brief telling of everything that had happen after your two characters fell madly in love. For instance, they shared vows and have a family now with two children and one on the way.

The second reason for using an epilogue could be to trick your readers. Writers just love to do that, don’t we? I know I do!

In the second book of my series, I included an epilogue to bring that story to a close with an event that was long overdue for one of the characters, and was very heart warming, but I ended the epilogue with a twist that would make my readers curious and full of questions.

Using the trickery method for an epilogue is perfect for mysteries and thrillers. It is a teaser that could indicate that what the reader thought they know, or what we (the writers) made them believe, is not true. Perhaps the suspect the detective arrested was not the real murderer but an accomplice.

Look at your story and decide if it needs an epilogue. If it does, go for it!

QUESTION: Have you ever read a good epilogue to a book that has stuck with you ever since? (Don’t forget to mention the title and authors name!)

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