Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Epilogues - The Last Word On Your Story

with guest Winnie Griggs

Hello everyone.  Winnie Griggs here and I’m very excited to be back at Seekerville.  It’s always fun to spend time here.  Last time I posted here I discussed Prologues, so I thought this time I would discuss Epilogues.

First a quick definition of what an Epilogue is, as it relates to a work of fiction. 

An epilogue provides a comment, conclusion or depicts consequences of the actions within the story itself and always appears at the end of the story, AFTER the climax.   

So let’s discuss how we know if we even need an epilogue to our story.  The short answer is no.  If you’ve done your work properly, and provided a satisfying climax, your story will not NEED an epilogue to feel complete.  However, there may be a number of reasons why you would WANT an epilogue.

Think of it this way.  Compare it to baking a cake.  If you mix and bake the batter properly so that it comes out light and tasty, and then you top it with a yummy frosting, then the outcome is quite satisfying. However, if you as the baker, sense there is a little something extra you can do to enhance the eating experience, say add some chocolate curls to the top, then by all means do so. 

So let’s talk about when you might WANT to add an epilogue.  Here are a few reasons.

·      To show the ‘Happily Ever After’ in more detail. 
This is probably the most common type of epilogue, especially in the world of romance novels.  If you’ve done your job right, by the time you get to the end of your story, your readers should be totally invested in your characters.  An epilogue is an ideal way to make the jump to sometime in the future to show that the HEA you gave them at the end of your story truly ‘stuck’.

·      To show the consequences of some event or decision made by characters in your story.
Perhaps this is not the kind of story that has a happily ever after, at least not for all of your characters.  In that case, you might want to show the long term consequences of those wrong turns taken by your characters.

·      To tie up any loose ends after the story’s climax.
If for some reason your story called for an abrupt or traumatic ending then there may be some issues relating to the fate of your characters that you want to clarify. 

·      To plant seeds for a sequel
If you already have plans for a follow up story, there may be some teasers you can plant with an epilogue to whet your readers’ appetites.

·      To show some impact on the world of your novel
This would most commonly be used in a story that deals with a political, sociological or world-in-turmoil focus.  In this case you could use an epilogue to show how the characters or events of the story affected the story world itself.
There are other reasons, but these re the most common ones.

All that being said, there are a few good reasons NOT to write an epilogue.

·      To wrap up your story
Your story should be able to stand alone without the epilogue.  If there are loose ends, it is best to find a way to resolve these in the final chapters of your story.

·      Because you as the writer hate to say good-bye to your characters or storyworld.
An epilogue must serve a story purpose, must add something positive to the reader experience to earn its place in your book.  If not, it runs the risk of being deadweight, resulting in having your story end on an anti-climatic note.    

In other words, the epilogue should impart something that adds to the reader’s appreciation of your story, but that depicts something that is clearly beyond the main storyline.

Okay, so you’ve decided that your story could benefit from an epilogue.  So how to do you go about writing one that is effective?

Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to help with that:


·      Know your purpose
Whether it is to serve one of the purposes I described above, or some other purpose, make certain you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and then focus your words on doing just that.  Which brings us to...

·      Keep it tight
An epilogue should generally be short and simple.  You already had your climax so you don’t want to draw these final notes out.  This is not the time to introduce new characters or conflicts unless, of course, you are planting seeds for a follow-up story.  But again, don’t draw things out.

·      Separate the epilogue from the rest of your story
There should be a definite time break of some sort, the more time the better.  This not only gives the reader a sense of perspective, but it keeps your prologue from feeling like merely the continuation of the previous chapter.

·      Make certain it ‘flows’
Just as in every other scene in your book, your epilogue should flow logically (though not necessarily predictably) from what came before. 


·      Avoid being repetitive
Don’t merely mimic what you’ve already depicted in your story’s climax.  If you’re not going to show us something new, then there’s no point in having the epilogue in the first place.

·      Don’t stray to far from your overall theme and tone
Again, this should be recognizable as a part of the novel itself.  The voice of the epilogue should be consistent with the voice of the novel as a whole.

·      Don’t include an epilogue ‘just because’
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating - an epilogue must justify its existence with a firm story purpose.  You want to make certain when your reader closes your book it is with a sigh of satisfaction, not with the vague feeling that the story went on just a little too long. 

In closing, before penning an epilogue for your story, make sure you know exactly why it is needed.  And, as objectively as possible, question the need and ask yourself if it will add any value to your reader’s overall enjoyment of your story.

There you have it, my thoughts on Epilogues.  So what do you think?  Do you agree with the various points I made?  And reasons or tips do you have that I left out? 


And since I have a new book out this month, I’ll give a copy of Lone Star Heiress to two folks who leave a comment here.

Click to Buy

Rescuer Turned Husband? 
Plucky Ivy Feagan is headed to Turnabout, Texas, to claim an inheritance, not a widower's heart. That all changes when strapping schoolteacher Mitch Parker rescues her in the wilderness. Straightlaced Mitch has never met a woman like Ivy—beautiful, adventurous and good-hearted—but he already lost love once and doesn't dare try again. 
When Turnabout's gossips target Mitch and Ivy's friendship, he proposes to save her reputation. But Ivy doesn't want to marry for honor, and she doesn't need to marry for money. Ivy will only agree to a proposal made for love's sake—but will Mitch make his heart part of the marriage offer? 
Texas Grooms: In search of their brides…

Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace.  She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
On a fun note - having been born on a Friday the 13th, Winnie has always considered 13 her lucky number.  This belief was recently reinforced when her 13th book, Handpicked Husband, won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in - what else - 2013.
Winnie loves to hear from readers.  You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.


  1. Yes, I agree with your points. Well said!

    Coffee's set to brew.

  2. RIGHT ONTHE POINT, Winnie! I love an epilogue when it is done right. I would LOVE to win your new book, Winnie!

  3. I enjoy epilogues myself and you make some good points. Please enter me in the drawing for your book.

  4. Ooh, Winnie, your book sounds good! :) And I agree with these points about epilogues...I do love it when a book is ended skillfully but gives me an extra taste of the "happily ever after" via an epilogue.

  5. I didn't know about teaser epilogues (setting up for the next book in the series) but now that I think about it I have read a few of those. Love them because I have the satisfaction of the finished romance and the hope of a future one. Talk about leaving a reader fulfilled!

    I'm an epilogue loving reader...the kind that doesn't want to let the characters go so she's happy soaking up just a little bit more happily ever after. You can never have too much of that, right?

  6. Good morning,

    I love how you compare writing an epilogue to a baker creating a cake. Thanks for the tips on writing a good epilogue!

    Have a great day!

  7. As a reader I like epilogues and for the reasons you wrote. I like when it tells the story a few months or more down the track like the wedding or the birth of the first child etc.

  8. Good morning, Winnie, and welcome back to Seekerville!

    I was never ever a fan of epilogues. Didn't see any point in them. But they seemed to be popular in the Love Inspired line and now I actually enjoy writing them and readers seem to like that "extra glimpse" into the future of my hero and heroine.

    My epilogues always pretty short--2-3 finished-book pages (although I do have one or two 4-5 pages long). They're usually "light" in tone and written to leave a final warm, fuzzy "all is right in their world" feeling in a reader's heart.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Looks to be quite a few fans of Epilogues here this morning! :)

  11. Great post, Winnie! I must go read the one on Prologues, too, seeing the story I'm revising right now has both!
    I'm hoping my Epilogue is the chocolate on top, giving the reader and extra sweet little taste of the characters happily ever after.
    What made the story really seem to need it was that the climax scene tied up the hero and heroine nicely, but left another major secondary character dangling, and I wanted to show that all was truly well with their world, add even more happy to the HEA.

  12. Great post. I love to read a good epilogue which shows what happened after the story ended, especially if I'm invested in the characters and want to know more.

  13. Great points, Winnie. I love to see an Epilogue in a story. It usually provides closure for me.

  14. Terrific post! I really enjoy epilogues and so glad when they are included in a book I loved, especially a HEA. My latest WIP has an epilogue and I so appreciate your tips on how to write it. Need to go work on that. . .
    Great coffee, Helen

  15. Welcome back, Winnie! Always good to see you in Seekerville.

    Thanks for clarifying the usage of epilogues. Being a romance fanatic, I see epilogues at the end of stories and sometimes, they just don't ring true. Your do and don't points are going into my keeper file.

    BTW, I've always considered 13 my lucky number since I was born on the 13th, too. Congrats on the terrific acknowledgement of your 13th book!!!

  16. Always good to see you in Seekerville, Winnie! Your teaching posts are excellent. Though I've tried a time or two, I've never written an epilogue for one of my books. For some reason when I try to do it, they just tacked on, but other authors use them beautifully and readers love them. So obviously I must try harder. :-) Have you ever written a pubbed book without an epilogue?

    I always enjoy your stories and this book sounds great. Congratulations on the RT Reviewers Choice Award!


  17. WINNIE!!! Welcome back to Seekerville, girlfriend, and WOW -- you really know how to write an excellent teaching blog! Not only is today's wonderfully clear and concise, but in my blog last month, I included a link to one of your prior Seeker blogs as well because you really know how to parse and nail a subject to the wall!

    As I commented in your "prologue" blog last time, I'm not really a prologue or epilogue type of gal, but one can never say never in this biz, I've discovered, because the Spirit leads in different directions for different projects.

    I never thought I would do an epilogue, but I have done three out of my ten novels, and here are the reasons why.

    You nailed it with two of your reasons -- to show a happily ever after and to sow seeds for a sequel, but the main reason I did an epilogue was because my daughter begged me to. In the 3rd book of The Daughters of Boston series, she said she felt cheated because she wanted a wedding. Mmmm, I thought to myself, I'm not fond of epilogues, but since this series was more of a family saga than just a romance, maybe I could wrap the whole series up with a pretty bow that includes the entire family and gives hints toward the next book, which is what I did.

    I am so glad I did that now because it really served to round the series off in a satisfying way, at least for me. I then did the same thing for the 2nd series, which was also the conclusion of this family saga, so it literally begged for an epilogue.

    Anyway, you have brought great insight into a subject rarely discussed, so thank you for your excellent blogs. They are some of the best, as Tina likes to say, "workshops in a blog" I've ever seen.


  18. I love epilogues. And I didn't always write them, but here's what I found out with my independent novels:

    PEOPLE LOVE 'EM!!!!!

    I get more comments from people saying they wished they saw more, they wished it had gone on, what happened to Anne and Joe, did they have kids? (Running on Empty) Are Alicia and Conor living happily ever after in Princeton???? (Try, Try Again) and what will the second Watkins Ridge book be about? Will we see Alex and Cress????? (Yes!!!!)

    That's the best feeling ever, that folks Don't Want the Story to End !!!!

    So I love that glimpse into the future and writing sweet stories for Love Inspired showed me that readers... like me!!!... love it too.

  19. I think Stuck Together, my June Release, has my first ever epilogue. I don't do them as a rule, partly because I'm never sure where I want to pick the story up in another book, even if it's a series finale. So to add an epilogue locks the future in stone.

    Wait! I think The Husband Tree has an epilogue...sort of an epilogue.

  20. Oh, WAIT!!!!! I forgot to welcome my buddy WINNIE!!!!!


    Sign me,

    A wuss in upstate. :)

  21. I love reading epilogues, especially if it's a HEA when the couple gets married or has children.

  22. Good morning Winnie,
    A helpful post. I love anything that's in the "do" and "don't" format. I am also a list-maker.
    I enjoy epilogues in other people's work, though I never saw much point in them for my own. I would only use one if I were "checking in" with my characters a year or five years later. (Or, since I write romance, nine months later.) You are right, it has to serve a purpose or it's just dead space. And it has to be something distinct from your last chapter.
    Kathy Bailey

  23. I DO like a wedding epilogue...but only after the story has been wrapped up.

  24. Hi Winnie! I'm a fan of epilogues. For me it's like that last chocolatey sip of a hot chocolate - yum!

    Congratulations on the RT nod and I love that you have a lucky number because I do, too. My adult kids think I'm goofy about it, but things happen on that day!

    Retuning the wave from yesterday to DEBBY GUISTI!

  25. Don't throw tomatoes, but I tend to skim epilogues unless there's something really good in there. Just a few lovely words of their love doesn't cut it.

    I do like it when there's a hint of the next series.

    I like prologues better.

  26. Agreed, Winnie. Thanks so much for the detailed analysis. Love me some lists! I especially appreciate the analogy to chocolate curls on top. I can see that!

  27. The last book I read had an ongoing thread about the hero restoring the massive gardens of his dying aunt. Generations of people in the town had been married there. The epilogues had the h/h getting married in the now restored gardens. It was a perfect ending.

    I always like a glimpse into the future of well written characters!

  28. Winnie, thanks for this excellent perspective on epilogues!

    As a reader, I never skip the prologue or the epilogue. I figure if the author thought the scene important enough to write about, I need to read it.

    On the other hand, I have never been a fan of epilogues written solely to describe the wedding, the bride's dress, the flowers, etc., in excruciating detail. Give me a reason to care--an interesting twist, a reconciliation with an estranged family member, etc. Even with wedding scenes, make the epilogue count as much as every other chapter in the book.

  29. Good morning everyone. Sorry for being late to the party, but I was up late last night (unable to put a book down until I'd finished it) so I slept in this morning. Let me grab a quick cup of tea and piece of toast and I'll settle in to chat with you!

  30. Welcome back, Winnie.

    I love epilogues. That little glimpse into a step beyond HEA.

    Thanks for the great tips.

  31. Tea and toast sounds good. With raspberry Bonnemann jam. I'll even share.

  32. Hi Helen, glad you enjoyed the post!

    Marianne and LovesToRead, your names are in the hat for the drawing!

  33. Good morning, Winnie! Great post.

    I like epilogues when they're done well. It's like Ruthy said - sometimes, as a reader, I just don't want to say goodbye to the characters!

  34. Hi Jennifer - thanks for the kind words about Lone Star Heiress. And glad you enjoyed the post

    Kav - that's every writer's goal - to leave the reader fulfilled! And glad to hear you enjoy reading epilogues

  35. Hi Jackie - I love using these kinds of metaphors because it makes things clearer for me

    Hi Jenny! I'm another one who likes to get a peek into the future for the characters too, which is why I like epilogues as well

  36. Hi Jackie - I love using these kinds of metaphors because it makes things clearer for me

    Hi Jenny! I'm another one who likes to get a peek into the future for the characters too, which is why I like epilogues as well

  37. Glynna - Thanks for the welcome! I always enjoy spending time here at Seekerville.
    Also glad to see you've 'come around' to seeing a use for epilogues :)
    And you're definitely right about keeping them short and sweet.

  38. Winnie,

    Always a good day when you're blogging. Great to see you. Enjoy your tea!

    I find epilogues often are a nice way to end a suspense with a look at the final romantic resolution. After all the run-for-your-life action, the slower pace and lighter tone provides an ending that--hopefully--makes the reader sigh and smile as she closes the book and reaches for another. Perhaps even another Debby Giusti suspense. :)

  39. Hi Autumn -glad you enjoyed the post and hope you like the one on Prologues as well :)
    And good luck with your own story!

    Preslaysa - glad to hear you're another lover-of-epilogues!

  40. Lyndee, care to share your special number?

    I tune into numbers, especially involving scripture. Also like to look ahead to see what the readings are for certain days when big events are scheduled. So often the Lord provides a message for that certain day which brings hope or comfort.

  41. Thanks Amy - glad yo enjoyed the post and even happier you enjoy reading them in books!

    Cindy - Thanks! And good luck with your WIP

  42. Thanks for the welcome Audra! And it's so COOL to find someone else who likes the number 13 - we are a definite minority :)

    Janet - always fun to visit with you my friend. And yes, I do have a few books without epilogues. As you've obviously learned, not all stories require one.

  43. Winnie, what a great post. I haven't tried writing an epilogue yet. But, you've armed me with some great do's and don't's should I ever write a story that may need one.

    I especially appreciate what you said about knowing the purpose for the epilogue. What a great piece of advice for each aspect of story crafting, and particularly the epilogue.

  44. Hi Winnie,

    I LOVE epilogues. Love reading them. Love writing them.

    As a reader, sometimes I find the characters have been going through so much angst and then finally, finally, they get together for one little kiss and ... The end? What?

    I waited 300 pages for this? I want more! So an epilogue really helps us see the characters enjoying their well-deserved happy ending! Doesn't have to be a wedding (though we like them too!) but just a glimpse into the future!


  45. Julie - Oh wow - thanks for the shout out on your post. Glad you found value in that one and this one as well. And I've done the same thing you described - use an epilogue to provide a satisfying farewell to a series (including my book that's out this month - the 4th in my Texas Grooms series). I also did that to wrap up a continuity I participated in with two other authors - the Irish Brides series. In that one Cheryl St.John, Renee Ryan and myself wrote about a group of sisters who left Ireland to travel to America. We each told a different sister's story and mine was the final book in the series, so I took the opportunity in my epilogue to show how much joy all three sisters had found in their new life.

    Anyway, I appreciate your comments and am glad you found some 'food for thought' in the post

  46. DEBBY,that number is 28 and I also notice scriptures regarding that number. Most are the 28th verse, which show the faith of women and Jesus' personality.

    For instance, John 11:28 begins the discussion between Mary and Martha regarding Jesus' arrival at the tomb of Lazarus and we see Jesus weep at the news. What a human moment that allows us connection with our Lord.

    Another is Matthew 28:1 which begins the story of the two Mary's faithfully returning to the grave to care for Christ's body. Instead they are the first to be told of Christ's Resurrection. Wow. That speaks volumes.

  47. Lyndee...love the two Martha-Mary tie ins to the #28, which is probably your age. Right? Plus the scriptures on Martha and Mary are so rich and provide such food for thought, especially for women. I was a Martha. I'm trying to be more of a Mary. :)


  48. Good post, Winnie! A guide that's clear and very much appreciated. I am not a fan of prologues or epilogues. I would rather the information usually included in a prologue unfold as backstory in the story. And with the exception of an epilogue that 'leads' to another book, I want the story to end where it ends. Too many times, the epilogues have lessened the story for me, which is why I usually skip them.

    Please include me in the drawing!

    Nancy C

  49. Thank you for your insights into how and when to include an epilogue. I found it to be helpful to me.

  50. Hi Ruth!! Glad you're moving over to the side of liking epilogues
    When done well, and with the right focus, they really can add that extra little fillip of satisfaction for the reader.

  51. Hi Mary - that's an excellent point and one I forgot to mention in my post so thanks for giving me a good lead in for it.

    Because epilogues make a jump into the future, if you think your next book in the series may start close to the point where he current one ends, it may be best to skip the epilogue so you don't have too much overlap or any spoilers for the next book.

  52. Excellent points, Winnie! I love epilogues. My DIL wrote an intriguing one for the end of her trilogy, continuing with the next generation of characters. I'll remember your advice for my next epilogue! 13 IS a good number for your successes!

  53. Hi Winnie!
    Thanks for this information today--a great overview of epilogues.

    As a reader, I do enjoy them.
    As a writer, I've only included an epilogue in one historical ms I've written, and for that one I felt it was needed. :)

    Congrats on your writing success!
    It was wonderful meeting you last summer in Atlanta at RWA (and attending a workshop you did with other authors). Love your books too! (Please enter me in the drawing)
    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

  54. Lis K - glad to hear you enjoy epilogues. And the kind you describe is the most popular type in romance novels

    Kathy - hi! All good points on things to think about when trying to decide about adding a prologue.

  55. Lyndee - "the last chocolate sip" - I LIKE that! And thanks for the congrats!

    Also, your kids are wrong, wrong I tell you - there is NOTHING goofy about having a lucky number :)

  56. Connie - I would NEVER throw tomatoes at you. And you're not alone - there are a number of readers who feel the same way you do. That's why it is so important for the writer to wrap EVERYTHING up in the body of the book. An epilogue should be something extra, not the final chapter.

  57. Meghan - you're quite welcome and always happy to connect with another list-maker!

    Donna - oh, that sounds like a perfect use for an epilogue, thanks for sharing. Would you mind sharing the title?

  58. Hi Winnie! Thanks for the tips on epilogues. I personally enjoy them, especially when they have hints of the "future," such as the characters now being married, expecting a child, etc. I believe the last part of the Harry Potter series was an epilogue, in which Harry sends his children off to Hogwarts, and through dialogue, we learn the fates of various supporting characters, such as Neville, Luna, etc.

    I must confess, I also like an epilogue when I'm really enjoying a book, and it's late at night and I just HAVE to finish it. Often, I will finish the bulk of the book, and save the epilogue for the next morning. Just so I have something to look forward to reading the next day, and also because I don't want to let those characters go.

    Have a great day!

  59. Winnie, thanks for this post on Epilogues. I love the ones that are done right. I especially love the ones where I don't want the story to end and I want to know what happens next or in the future for the characters.

    Mary Connealy, I saw your book at Walmart today!

  60. Hi Myra. You're welcome and you are absolutely correct. The epilogue MUST serve a purpose not just be window dressing.

    Tina glad you liked the post. And raspberry jam sounds absolutely YUMMY!!

  61. Jan, glad to hear you are open to epilogues. And thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Debby. Thanks for the welcome - Always fun to visit here. And great observations about the purpose epilogues can serve in a suspense-type story.

  62. JeanneT - glad you enjoyed the post. And you're right - EVERY scene in your book needs to have a purpose for its existence, not just the epilogue

    Hi Susan - ah, a true epilogue lover! I love the way you describe your rationale!

  63. Tea and toast.

    With sliced ham.

    I'm in!!!!

  64. Martha vs. Mary.

    I wish it wasn't so controversial to be a Martha.

    I claim it and own it and there's this snarky NY side of me that really likes being who I am.

    I see Mother Teresa as the quintessential Martha. She did and did and did constantly and prayed all the while, seeing Jesus in everyone.

    So why is being a Martha bad????

    I have that on my discussion points memo for heaven.

    And youse know me: It will be discussed.


  65. Winnie said - oh, that sounds like a perfect use for an epilogue, thanks for sharing. Would you mind sharing the title?

    It was The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight from LI.

  66. Hi Becky, you're quite welcome - glad you found it helpful.

    Hi Sherida - Sounds like you DIL put her own spin on what makes a good epilogue - good for her!

  67. Patti Jo, so nice to hear from you. Thanks for all the kind words.

    Will you be at RWA conference this year? I'm not giving any workshops but I'll be there.

  68. Hi Stephanie - oh what a neat way to treat yourself. I'll have to remember that little trick next time I'm reluctant to let go of the characters in a book I'm reading!

    Wilani, you're quite welcome! And glad to hear that you sre nother lover of epilogues!

  69. Ruth, Alas I didn't have any ham to go with my toast, but I did settle for a slice of pepper jack cheese :)

  70. I LOVE Linda Goodnight. The Wedding Garden was an excellent book.

  71. Thanks Donna! I love Linda Goodnight's books but this is one I haven't read yet.

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. Ruthy~

    I don't think being a Martha is so bad, and I don't think Jesus thought so either (I am not a Martha, but often wish I was). I've always thought he corrected her complaining, not her hard work. Kind of like after the resurrection when Peter asked him, "So what about John, what's he gonna do?" and Jesus said, "What is that to you? Follow thou me." Aslan, in the Chronicles of Narnia is always telling the children, "That's not your story," when they ask about things the other characters have done wrong. Mary was slaving away trying to care for Him and His disciples, and I feel sure he appreciated that. But he could feed thousands with one little boy's lunch. In that light, what she stood to learn FROM him was of far greater value that what she could do FOR him at that time. Instead, on that infamous day, she was more worried about what her sister wasn't doing (anybody wanna bet she was the older sister?) ;)

    To bad Paul hadn't yet written Colossians 3:23, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men." It's a verse that helps me when I feel overworked and underappreciated.

    Could it be that Martha was really a sweet Mother Teresa type lady who happened to have a bad day once when the disciples happened to be in her home to witness it so they could record it for posterity? I've seen her as a character in Biblical era novels where she too "owns" her Martha-ness, minus the complaints, personifying that verse in Colossians before it was even written.

    Okay! Sorry about the sermon (I'm married to a preacher. Sometimes it rubs off).


    I LOVE epilogues, especially in a story with a very late romantic resolution. If the "I love you and I can't live without you" comes in the last few pages, I feel cheated out of seeing them together as a real couple.

    I'm planning an epilogue for my WIP, which will (hopefully) be the first of a trilogy. In fact I've already written it, and the book isn't half done. A major supporting character (a dear friend of the heroine, who happens to be mostly in love with her) leaves town after the wedding. He's the hero of the second novel, and the epilogue I have written serves to set up his return so he can meet the real love of his life, while also giving an update on the happy couple from book 1.

    I only hope that one day when the book is published, it doesn't get cut.

    Great post, and I would love to win your book. I read and loved the first two, but apparently I somehow missed number three...a mistake that will hopefully be soon rectified via a click over to bn.com.

  74. I don't always want or need an epilogue. I do feel sometimes that they are just tacked on.

  75. Andrea, glad to hear you enjoy epilogues And it sounds like you have discovered a strong purpose for the epilogue you want to write for your own book, which is half the battle for making it effective!

    Mary, some readers just don't care for epilogues and that is perfectly valid. But not all epilogues are created equal, and if they feel 'tacked on' it may be that they were not done properly.

  76. HI Winnie, Talk about being late to the party. I missed yesterday, but in case you peak in again today, thanks for posting with us in Seekerville. I love epilogues (reading them anyway). I've only written one. But you gave some great considerations.

    Thanks again for joining us.

  77. Oh, yes. I'd love to win Winnie's winner!
    Right on with epilogues. I always enjoy descriptions of the wedding.

  78. To epilogue or not to epilogue....That is the question.

  79. OOOOOO, WINNIE ... you had me at "Irish sisters"!!!! ;)

    Gonna have to read that one, I think. :)


  80. A day late I suppose, but very thankful for your insight as I make this decision about my ms.
    Thanks! Kelly