What is An Epigraph? (Not to be confused with epitaph).
This is a technique I love, but had no idea there was an actual technical term for it.
Basically, it is a quote, short poem, excerpt from a book, Bible verse, stanza of a song, etc. that is set at the beginning of a text.
Epigraphs are often used at the beginning of chapters or they can be displayed on a separate page in a book, prior to the Prologue.
They set the stage—the tone—for the story that follows because they link to the general theme in some way.
An epigraph is used to attract…to mystify…to capture interest.
Here’s an example from my soon-to-be-released book, The Choice: Will’s Last Testament:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”
You may have read this Bible verse before, but set-apart on its own page, it’s given weight… importance.
It gives direction for all that is to come.