To Epilogue or Not to Epilogue

That truly is the question of late. Editing is tedious at times. No doubt about it. And I’ve been editing my first novel for a long time.

So I decided I’d take a little break from the line by line, over-analyzing monotony of it all and ponder something creative. Like so many of my endeavors, it lead me down another rabbit trail. I really should learn to see things through sometime.

But in this instance it was an old rabbit trail. So revisiting unfinished business is at least a step in the right direction. Right?

Perhaps if I elaborate you’ll agree with me.

Every writer struggles with the beginning and end of their novels. It’s just a given. Those are (in my opinion) the two hardest parts. While the beginning has to hook the reader, the ending has to glean some measure of satisfaction.

Mine wasn’t making the cut.

So several months back I rewrote the ending of my novel. While the revised version is much improved, it’s still lacking something. The loose ends all seemed to be tied back in except for one. I’ve a problem child and he won’t let me end this thing without giving him his just moment. Problem is, his time in the spotlight doesn’t fit in the closing.

Maybe it’s my inner Marvel geek slipping out. Because I feel this guy needs to appear after the credits. He’s begging to star in an epilogue to draw the readers into the next chapter (or book as it were) of the story.

But can you have an epilogue without a prologue? I mean, forgive the cliche here, but let’s talk turkey. This novel is already over 130,000 words. Adding an epilogue is pushing things, let alone throwing in a prologue for balance.

But the guy is still nagging me. He insists my readers won’t be happy unless I throw this final scene in the book.

So what do you think? Should I listen to the persistent character? Should I give him his moment in the spotlight once more before the final curtain falls?

And can I do it without writing a prologue?


2 Thoughts

  1. I say trust your instinct! Give the guy the epilogue he deserves. I don’t think a prologue is necessary.. but then again, I’ve always been one to challenge and break the “rules of writing.”


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