The Epilogue Delimma

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Lately, it seems every book I read has an epilogue.

What’s up with that?

For a writer, what’s the reasoning behind writing an epilogue?

And, for the reader, what purpose does one serve?

And, finally, are they a hinderance, a help, or does it even matter?

I decided to do a little research.

I began with a working definition:

An epilogue is a section at the end of a book that serves as a comment on, or a conclusion to, what has happened after the end of the book— a wrap up of the story.

It seems there are five reasons to use an epilogue. They are: 

1) To Give Closure: Epilogues provide information about what happens later. Writers use them when they feel that writing these details in the story itself would weaken the climax of their book.

2) To provide information about how the story turns out especially if it is years later.

3) To summarize: If the character has been championing a certain point of view, the author can use the epilogue to drive the key points home.

4) To give resolution to ambitious endings.

5) To pique the reader’s interest in reading the next book in a series.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Have you used them yourself?

Next week, I will tackle other aspects of the EPILOGUE DELIMMA.

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