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Do you need a prologue or an epilogue?

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Jun 5, 2017 5:22:26 AM

Epilogues and prologues are sometimes enigmatic parts of a novel that can even perplex the author of a book. What are they, and are they necessary? The answer to the second question is no, you don't need them. The inclusion of an epilogue or prologue or both is purely a matter of style. Some authors find them useful, but most authors in today's publishing world don't include them in their books. I have used them, and I do find them useful.

They are extra-bits of a story. In mystery books, a prologue can be the incident that triggers the mystery. I've used the epilogue to wrap up a subplot that would be the bridge to the next book in a series.  In the final chapter of the book, after the conclusion, I simply used the epilogue as a launching point for the next story.

Some authors, use a different point of view in their epilogues and prologues. They play with style and voice to give the story a book-end feel to it. A prologue can even be in the author's voice. In this case, it would be used to explain the motivation behind the story, what drove the author to write it and share it with the world?

Epilogues and prologues aren't for everyone. If you've never included either in a book, don't worry. They aren't crucial to the structure of the book. But, you may find, as I have, that they can be fun to write, and if done right, they can give your story that little extra oomph that you've been looking for. 

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Jul 7, 2017 12:25 PM Grantor    says:

Prologues  need to entice the reader into the main story. Where separate time frames are involved the narrator might write from the present time in the prologue and then take the reader back in time in Chapter One. The reader enticed by the introduction will want to read about the maun characters earlier experiences, you intend!  In my first sea adventure novel, Mike Peters is about to embark on a voyage six years forward in time. Now  a Second Mate-older and wiser? In Chapter one a return to when  six years previously, he was a young cadet.   The Epilogue  returns to the older Mike Peters.  This format is seen as dated, but I felt worked for Atlantic Hijack, which is set in the nineteen sixties, a specfic era. Also for filmatic projection a storyline with a distinct flow develops where there is a prologue to capture  atmosphere  and drama in advance od the main story.