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 Epilogues

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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 1:11 pm

What are your opinions about an epilogue in a work of fiction? Good idea? Bad idea? Any comments on what an epilogue should and should not include?
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http://alstevens.blogspot.com
dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 1:27 pm

You just have to keep in mind that a person skimming the book will look at the prologue and the epilogue to get an idea about buying the book; it could be a sales tool or turn off the reader completely. I think it's a risk. That said, I had an epilogue in Ghost Orchid to explain the factual inspiration for the book. I have been told it was not necessary and actually detracted.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 2:39 pm

Hi Al,

You'll find information about what goes into prologues ad epilogues here:

http://writing-novels.suite101.com/article.cfm/should_a_novel_have_a_prologue_or_an_epilogue

_________________
Epilogues 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Epilogues 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Epilogues 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Epilogues 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Epilogues 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Epilogues 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 6:35 pm

Shelagh wrote:
Hi Al,

You'll find information about what goes into prologues ad epilogues here:

http://writing-novels.suite101.com/article.cfm/should_a_novel_have_a_prologue_or_an_epilogue

Thanks. That's a huge help.

My prologue does not do what that article says one does. Mine does not convey events that happen prior to the novel's timeline, and it does not lay down historical knowledge that the reader needs to know prior to reading the novel. Instead, it foreshadows the novel's pivotal event, giving nothing away, because everyone already knows about that event.

My epilogue is more along the lines of what the article describes. It tells some of what happens to the characters in the years that follow the novel. It also summarizes what happens to the country with respect to the historical pivotal event.

You can read the chapters without either. You can read the prologue and epilogue themselves and know some of what might happen in the chapters, but not all.

I am not completely sold on keeping either part in the book. Which is why I ask here about members' own opinions about such parts of a book.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 6:37 pm

dkchristi wrote:
...I had an epilogue in Ghost Orchid to explain the factual inspiration for the book. I have been told it was not necessary and actually detracted.
Did it detract from the ending or, in someone's opinion, from the book's appeal?

Is it still in current editions of the book?
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyFri Aug 27, 2010 10:19 pm

Al,
I've used a prologue but not an epilogue in my non-fiction book. Many have asked me what happened afterward. In this case an epilogue would have been appropriate.

When I read works of fiction, if the conclusion leaves questions about "what happened after," an epilogue can help. The reader wants closure when the book ends.

In writing a book with a sequel, the ending can prime the reader for the next book.

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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptySat Aug 28, 2010 6:11 am

Ghost Orchid still includes the epilogue; and yes, it was one person's opinion regarding the epilogue. You know how it goes, one negative is weighted out of proportion....

I agree with Abe. I just caution that people read those pieces first; so, if you have them, they need to be so well written they must buy the book :-)
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptySat Aug 28, 2010 6:49 am

The prologue to And Adam was a Gardener is on my website. This is a draft of the Epilogue:

Quote :
Volara
3261

The silver-haired man in the fitted jumpsuit walked briskly up the steps of the Directorate of Information. He was an attractive, slender man, vigorous in spite of advanced age. As he approached the entrance to the building, the guard nodded to him. “Welcome, Emlan,” the guard said deferentially. The older man smiled, nodded back, and walked inside.

The directorate was a graceful old building. The most recent renovations, as all the others over the last fifty years, had worked to keep the spirit of the building intact. As he approached the central passageway, the Emlan turned, and took a passage that led to an older area of the building, now used primarily for storage. If anyone in the building noticed, and was curious, this was, after all, the Emlan, who could go anywhere in the building he wished. So it was quite easy for him to move unnoticed to the lift at the end of the hallway, and from there to the upper floors, to a section that had been closed off and ignored for some time.

He did not hesitate as he reached the heavy doors, but placed his hand on the intro-pad and was immediately granted access. The rooms he entered were once the offices of the head of the directorate.

He paused before he entered the control rooms, remembering the holograph of his predecessor, Emlan Berinan, which had appeared as he turned on his screens when he entered his own private offices that morning - He remembered what the image had said to him: “…as Emlan, it will be up to you to decide what should be done with the information on the discs, which have been sealed now for 50 years. I am sure you will know what to do.” Inside, as he set the disc, a holograph of one he had not seen in 50 years appeared to stand before him, and began to speak: “My name is Dawilan,” the voice said, and was about to continue when the transmission scrambled. The Emlan jumped up, startled, but the pattern was suddenly replaced by another - from an apparently intrusive signal - a young woman appeared,looking slightly similar to the face that had recently scrambled, and the woman smiled, and said: “Greetings, Uncle Tobared….”

I'm wondering, after reading the advice here, if I should add a line or two to the prologue, showing that Tobared was Dawilan's son.

Ann
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptySat Aug 28, 2010 9:11 am

Hmm. Given the literal meaning of the word prologue, perhaps mine is a preface. Or Chapter 1.

I provide the necessary background in the current Chapter 1 with scenes recalled by the protagonist--memories, not flashbacks--and 3rd person narrator POV narratives that tell of past events in the protagonist's life.

Perhaps some of this should be a prologue.
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ahesan



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2010-12-04

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyTue Dec 07, 2010 10:12 am

I find a story with an epilogue and prologue more intriguing and fulfilling than a story without them. I don't always have an epilogue or prologue in the books I write but that's only because most of my "books" have sequels. However, if a novel doesn't have a sequel I'd prefer it had some sort of conclusion besides the ending.

I prefer epilogues more than I do prologues.
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lyntx
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Number of posts : 141
Registration date : 2010-10-27

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PostSubject: Re: Epilogues   Epilogues EmptyWed Dec 22, 2010 5:54 pm

I don't read them. I used to, but now I'd rather just get into the story.
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