Epilogue or End?

I’m nearing the end of my current WIP, which still seems a bit unbelievable since I just started it at the end of January.  Anyway, there wasn’t a lot of planning with this book.  It is my first attempt at a paranormal.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I had a beginning and a black moment.  That was it.  The rest unfolded as I pulled out hair and texted my CP for emergency plot assistance.  <wave to Rayna>  Now that I’m nearing the end, I have a dilemma.

This week I’ll write the climax.  Then what?   Some authors write a nice, neat epilogue at the end of their books.  Some just stop with the resolution of the main conflict. As a reader and/or writer, what do you prefer?  Do you need to know how your characters fared in the long-haul?  Or are you content to know they overcame the primary obstacle?

I’m taking a survey.  Are epilogues emotionally satisfying or boring?

16 responses to “Epilogue or End?

  1. I’m not a fan of epilogues. As long as the main conflicts are tied up and the H/h have a HEA or at least a Happy for Now ending, I’m good with that 😉

  2. I ONLY write an epilogue for a cliff hanger and/or if I intend to write follow-up. which sometimes dosen’thappen.


    • Interesting, Patt. When I first started writing, I stuck an epilogue at the end of everything. Now I never use them. Could it be that I’ve learned to edit my stories until I’m more than ready to let go of the characters?

  3. I like epilogues because sometimes the end of the story just cries out for just a little more information. Yes, I know the heroine and hero are together and their conflict has been resolved. Yet, sometimes, I like to know how just a little more about them.

    That is just my opinion.
    Dennis Clarkston
    AKA Clark Stone

  4. *Waving Back at Melinda*

    I’m with Dennis. If I really love these characters I like just one more glimpse into how things went shortly after their happily ever after. I also agree that they make an excellent vehicle for setting up a sequel and leaving the reader hungry for the next book.

    I guess really all depends on the story and situation.


  5. I’m with Rayna that it depends on the story. Some stories feel like they need them and others don’t.

  6. I only like an epilogue if it ties back to character arc, or in some way ties back the the beginning, or sets up the next book. I really don’t like them if the point is just to show that the couple had a baby or they’re still happy seven years later. Those just irk me. I’d almost prefer to imagine my own future for them, or wait to see them in a later book in the series.

    • That’s an interesting point, Gwen. I always try to read a book before I see the movie. I also don’t like book trailers because I like to imagine the setting and characters as I read. I don’t want those images in my head before I pick up the book.

  7. Both work for me, but I do like an epilogue, b/c if I’ve really connected to book/characters, I don’t want it to end. Plus, after pages and pages of angst and action, it’s nice to see h/h happy together. However, I don’t think epilogues are overused and can be misused especially when everything that needed to be said has already been said in the main story. Which I guess means it’s a crap shoot after all. If you don’t feel as though the WIP is complete, that it still needs an extra zing, then have at it.

    I know, I know, I’m oh so unhelpful on this one. Color me wishy-washy. ;-)_

  8. Joanna Aislinn

    Depends on the story and how important it is to show where the pair wound up now that the HEA is established. (I wind up writing scenes I put aside as free reads for later–they’d be too long for an epilogue anyway.

  9. Joanna Aislinn

    If nothing else, it’s fun 🙂

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