Amazing Kids! Magazine

Wrapping It Up: Epilogues

By Sophie Nadel, Writer’s Tips Editor

 

Although your plot may have reached a resolution, a story never truly ends. For this reason, many authors choose to include an epilogue in their books. An epilogue is a bonus chapter at the end of a book, providing the reader with a glimpse into the main characters’ futures. An epilogue can be useful in providing your readers with a sense of closure, a glance into the distant future of the characters, or even an introduction to a potential sequel to your story. Use this article to help you determine which type of epilogue is the best fit for you and your story!

Finish Up the Plot

One purpose for an epilogue is to completely conclude your story. Depending on the way your climax is written, the falling action part of your story might seem a little bit forced if included within the main plot. Say you’re writing about a brave knight rescuing a damsel in distress. The climax explodes as the knight conquers the evil dragon and receives a peck on the cheek from his beloved. This is a perfect conclusion to the story, and many authors will decide to end the book right then and there. However, adding an epilogue can enrich the reader’s experience and provide closure. In this example, the epilogue could immediately follow the climax, with the knight bringing the lady home to her village. Write about the people’s reactions to the heroic deeds of the knight and maybe even about the wedding ceremony that will take place. In this type of epilogue, there should be no conflict so that the story merely draws to a more complete close.

Give a Peek into the Future

Another type of epilogue offers the readers a glimpse into a distant future. It includes writing about the characters years from the end of the story. With this type of epilogue, readers receive more information about the characters that they have grown to love and can learn how the main plot of the story affected the rest of the character’s life. It is an excellent type of epilogue for communicating a moral. For example, let’s say that in elementary school, a girl works very hard to win the friendship of a shy boy. In the end, she finally succeeds, and they become best friends. The epilogue of the story could take place twenty years in the future, where the main characters of the story are married, demonstrating themes that persistence pays off and friendships can last lifetimes.

Introduce a Potential Sequel

The last type of epilogue is especially useful for authors who plan to introduce a sequel to their original story. In this type of epilogue, the author introduces a new conflict that will grow to be the main plot of the next story in the series. For example, if your main character defeated the villain plaguing her and happily returned home at the end of the story, the epilogue could include her receiving a letter from one of his evil followers, challenging her to a duel. While it is not a part of the original story, this type of epilogue introduces a brand-new story. Even if you don’t actually write that sequel, introducing conflict in the epilogue will leave the reader wondering what happens next and yearning for more.

Epilogues are not necessary for a complete story, but most of the time, they are a wonderful addition. An epilogue is a great way to conclude a piece, as it provides the reader with closure that will enrich your plot and characters. So, try it out, and have fun with it!

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