September 9, 2019

Sometimes it’s Hard to Say Goodbye, Making the Case for Epilogues

By Dania Voss

“Goodbye is the hardest thing to say to someone who means the world to you, especially when goodbye isn’t what you want.” – Unknown

As authors we strive to bring our stories to a satisfying conclusion. We want the end to be rewarding for our readers.

But what if as writers, we’re not ready to say goodbye to our characters or the story? And what if our readers might not be ready either?

What if we don’t have to be? Quite yet. Enter the epilogue.

An epilogue is the section of your book or story that would come after you type The End. As a reader, I love books that include an epilogue. I personally enjoy including an epilogue in my novels. I’m a romance writer so I share a glimpse into my happy couple’s lives anywhere from a few months to a few years into the future after the main story ends.

What kinds of things can you include in an epilogue? Here are a few ideas for you to consider.

·         You can show how your main characters have grown, or how they have changed since the end of the main story. The epilogue is a wonderful way for your readers to experience your characters still successfully triumph over challenges or issues they may have faced during the main story.
·         If you intend on writing a sequel, your epilogue can include hints or teasers about what your readers can expect next.
·         The epilogue is a place where you can express your main character’s final thoughts on events that happened during the main story.
·         Is your book part of a series? The epilogue can prepare your readers for the next installment. Include a scene with the characters that will be featured in the next book.
·         Include one last (minor) plot twist or conflict that can easily and quickly be resolved.

How long should an epilogue be? In my humble opinion, I believe your story should dictate the length, as long as it doesn’t become tiring for your reader. An epilogue can be as short as two or three pages. I tend to write long chapters of about twenty pages, so my epilogues end up close to full chapter length.

So when you reach The End of your next book or story, but you’re not ready to say goodbye because “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I hope you’ll give serious consideration to the epilogue.
Born in Rome, Italy and settled in the Chicagoland area, Dania Voss became a romance junkie in her teens.  She is a lover of all things pink and a huge fan of 80's hair bands. After decades of voracious reading, she published her first romance novel On the Ropes, the prequel in her Windy City Nights series in March 2018. It was nominated as best Contemporary Romance in the 2018 Evernight Publishing Reader's Choice Awards. The Windy City Nights series takes place in and around Chicago which means - baseball, men in uniform, sexy Italians and steamy nights...She writes contemporary, steamy romance but at their core, her stories are about love, commitment, family, and friendship. She writes romance with heat and heart. Dania is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America and the Chicago Writers Association. She's been seen on affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. She's been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Artist First Radio Network, and has been a guest speaker for the Red Hat Society. Website / Social Media Links: Website: Blog: Newsletter: Facebook page: Facebook profile: Twitter:  Instagram: Pinterest:  Bookbub: Amazon:

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