An epilogue is defined by Merriam Webster as a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work; in simple terms, the concluding section of a story. Some books refer to it as an “Afterword”, but the gist is the same. It’s a way to tie up loose ends, or to inform the reader of the ultimate fate of a character or characters.
But why would an author wait until the epilogue to conclude the story? Why not wrap up the story within the story itself? This makes the reading experience far more satisfactory, and speaks volumes about your talents as a writer and a storyteller.
Granted, sometimes an epilogue can be appropriate, even preferable. Those instances are rare. But when you, as an author, feel that an epilogue is necessary, there are some simple rules you should follow:
For the most part, though, including an epilogue in your book is not recommended. The best books include the beginning, middle and end within the body of the story.
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