|Susan Anne Mason|
Before I ever started writing with the intent of becoming a published author, I had already formed a passionate opinion on the necessity of an Epilogue in the stories I read. If the book didn’t have one, I felt almost…CHEATED! What do you mean I don’t get to peek into the character’s future lives? I NEED to see how things turned out—how happy they are! (OK, maybe I get a little too involved in the books I read!)
As writers, we learn about showing the Hero’s Journey, the Noble Quest, The Black Moment and the Epiphany, yet little time is spent on the Climax and the Happily Ever After. But isn’t that the moment we’ve all been waiting for? We journey with our characters, laugh with them, cry with them, face their trials alongside them, and cheer them on toward their goal. To slap a one-page wrap-up at the end sometimes feels unsatisfying. Unfulfilled. Many times I found myself thinking: “Wait a minute. I went through 400 pages of angst for this? I need to live in the world of ‘happily ever after’ a while longer!”
That’s where a well-done Epilogue comes in. SHOW the characters enjoying the fruits of their labor, the reward for their arduous journey. Let them rejoice in the love they’ve yearned for! We want to share that happiness! Epilogues provide a greater sense of satisfaction for the reader and gives us (the writers) a chance to be a bit sappy, showing the couple getting married or having their first child. These are the moments we have waited the entire book for!
In my newest release, Love’s Faithful Promise, I had to make the epilogue really count. Not only was I tying up Deirdre and Matthew’s love story, but I was writing the finale for the whole O’Leary saga. This one had to be GOOD! So I chose to do something a little different. I made a 2-part epilogue with different Points of View and ended with the musings of the patriarch, James O’Leary (whose voice we had never heard directly before). At a big family gathering, I showed him reminiscing about the past, thinking back to his immigrant parents and how far his family had come since then. I felt it was a fitting conclusion to the O’Leary saga to have James and his wife look around at all their children and grandchildren and give thanks to God for their many blessings.
Epilogues can be very powerful! They can plant seeds for future books or simply add a deeper level of emotional gratification for the reader. Use this tool wisely and you just might create fans for life. At the very least, your reader will close the book with a satisfied sigh and, hopefully, add your book to their Keeper Shelf.
Tell me what you think of epilogues.
|About the Author|
Connect with Susan:
Blog: http://suemasonsblog.blogspot.ca/ (my blog will be incorporated into the new website)
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/susanannemason/
Love's Faithful Promise
Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. When Deirdre O’Leary, a feisty New Yorker, arrives requesting he use his skills to help her stricken mother, he won’t abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when his daughter suffers a health scare and needs a respite, Deirdre offers a trade—they can escape to the peace of her family’s farm, if he will care for Mrs. O’Leary. Matthew agrees for his daughter’s sake, but is intent on staying as short a time as necessary. The sojourn at Irish Meadows does wonders for Phoebe, and as she begins to flourish, Matthew finds himself drawn to the O’Learys, especially to the captivating Deirdre. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?
Bethany House: http://tinyurl.com/zn8oqcs
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/zffxbvh